22 March 2020
This was the first Sunday we decided to close, like many churches we have vulnerable people. Our preacher for this Sunday was going to be Andrew Coxhead, but as he couldn't do it in person, it sent it via email instead.
Here is his message:
Bible reading: Matthew 10 verses 29-31 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So, don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
I may not know what you are going through at this present moment, you may be filled with fear because of the things happening in our country, even the world at this time. You may be lonely or feeling alone due to the self-isolating restrictions being in place. You may have anxiety and worries concerning your current employment situation. You may have financial concerns due to the current situation. You may have one hundred and one other cares.
You may say to me, as far as the world is concerned, as far as even our government is concerned, even as far as my neighbour is concerned, “who am I”? You may think no one cares for me, in the grander things of this world, I am a nobody. I am the least important person around. If that is you today, my hope, my prayer is that as you read through this you will see you are important.
Let me start with an illustration: -
If on your travels over the last ten years you have passed through Dubai, you would have seen one the most amazing buildings in the world. The building called the Burj Khalifa, (Burj means “tower”, Khalifa is or was the prince of the UAE when it was built), is grand in every way. The tallest building in the world. 2717 feet tall, 830 metres, 163 floors. The tallest free-standing structure. Completed in 2010 it took six years to build and is built in what was a desert, on sand. There is no bed rock. I may use this fact for a future illustration. The building has many uses, a shopping centre at the base, offices, gyms etc, and luxury apartments. 10,000 people live, work and visit at any one time. The design and shape of the building is unique so that it can withstand the desert sandstorms that flare up from time to time.
The lifts inside the building are some of the fastest in the world, travelling at 10 metres a second, it takes just one minute to go from bottom to the top, 163 floors.
There is a team of window cleaners, 10-12 people, who work off ropes with harnesses, who clean the 26,000 hand cut panes of glass. It takes 3 months to clean from top to bottom, then they start all over again.
The building uses 946,000 litres of water every day. Storage tanks are placed at certain floors to provide water to the floors below and to tanks further up the building. Water is pumped from ground to the first, then from the first to second tank etc, or the pumps will be the amazing in size. Also if there was just one tank at the top for the whole building, if you open a tap at the kitchen sink at the base, the pressure would be so great that you would blow a hole through the stainless steel sink.
Everything about this building is grandeur, amazing, made to impress and fill with awe. But there is one man, an ordinary man, almost a nobody who has the most important chore to do, every three or four weeks. If this man does not do this job the building will most likely be destroyed.
His toolkit comprises of one small allen key and a small battery, about the size of our 9-volt battery. He has to go to the top of the building, beyond the lifts climbing the metal ladders inside the spire and mast to change the battery to the lightening conductor at the very top. This conductor is also a detector, it can detect and assess the lightening in electrical storms, it can tell if it is a positive or negative charge, change its own charge to the opposite and safely transfer the strike to the ground.
This nobody as far as this building is concerned is the most important person.
Let me please assure you: -
You're Important to God
We are important to God for a number of reasons:
We are important because we are part of His creation. He created us in His likeness and image and said, "It is very good!" So, we are important because He says so in that He doesn't make junk! [Genesis 1:31, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day”.]
We are important in that after man fell God immediately had a plan to redeem us from our sin. [Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”] He went to an awful lot of trouble to redeem us therefore we must be important!
We are important in that throughout the Old Testament and throughout history God's plan for us has been eternal life, an extended life; forever and ever. Jesus stated, "The thief comes not but to steal, to kill, and to destroy, but I have come that they might have life and life more abundantly!"
Therefore, we are important to God in that not only is He interested in lengthening our life but lengthening our life with Him! He doesn't just say "I want you to live abundantly, and eternally;" He says "I want you to live abundantly and eternally with me!"
We are important because of who it is that is saying we are important. If the queen or the prime minister were to give you their endorsement, as an extremely important member of their society, that would carry a lot of weight. We would think "Wow, I'm something special"! Well the creator of the universe, The King of all creation is saying "you are important to me”.
We are important to God because He wants to adopt us as sons and daughters! 1st John 3:1 says, "Behold what manner of love is this that we might be called the Sons of God”!
Not only are we important to God as a large group of children, as one of many He cares about, we are individually important! Christ taught that not one sparrow falls from the sky, but God sees it, that He cares for even the lilies of the field. Christ said that the Father knows us so well that the very hairs of our head are numbered! Not how many hairs, it’s that each one has its own number! Wow. The Bible says God sees us when we are in our mother's womb, and that as our good shepherd Jesus calls us by name! We are important enough to Him that He gets individually involved in our lives!
He considers us important enough to individually show concern by answering our prayers.
We are important enough that He took a process of over four thousand years to put together His word of sixty-six books by forty authors detailing His steadfast and unchanging love for us. He made sure it was written down for us to read for ourselves!
But the greatest reason why we are so very important to God is that He gave us His most precious possession to save us from eternal destruction. His most precious possession was His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. He gave Him as "The Lamb of God" To suffer in His body and die on a cross for our sins. He sacrificed His own son for us.
You are so important to God.
Whatever is in store for us over the coming days and weeks, whether we are continuing with this self-distancing, or we are self-isolating, or things may get even more difficult with quarantining, whether we are well and healthy or we fall unwell with this covid-19 (coronavirus), whether we feel alone, lonely, missing the fellowship of Christian friends, let me remind you again, let me assure you, you are so important to God.