Thousands of visitors come to London to admire the grand architecture. But keeping the outside of the buildings clean is a problem – because of all the sparrows that try to roost on the walls!!
One of the oldest and most majestic buildings in the City of London is St Paul’s Cathedral. It was built as part of London’s reconstruction after the Great Fire of 1666 and, until 1967, it was the tallest building in the City. Although it’s now dwarfed by neighbouring buildings, St Paul’s softly floodlit facades and dome contrast at night with the glittering commercial buildings around it.
A few steps away, in a passageway to the nearby Underground station, you will often find a man standing alone on a busker’s pitch. He is blind, but his skill is to tunefully whistle favourite melodies and, at Christmas time, a few carols. The sound is distinctive – like the sound of a bird – and can be heard a long way down the tunnels and escalators. People drop coins in the box at his side.
Worth more than sparrows
But the Bible tells us that God sees so much more than a beautiful building and hears more than a blind man whistling. He can look inside everybody’s heart:
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1Samuel 16:7 NIV)
The blind man, despite his disability, was created by God, whereas the cathedral is a product of man’s own labours. All of us people mean more to God than any magnificent monument, even if it is constructed as a place of worship.
So when the disciples of Jesus admired the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem, Jesus told them that God cares more about people than he does about man-made buildings:
“And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” (Mark 13:1-2 ESV)
“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. (Matthew 10:29-31 NIV)
Known to God
During our lives all of us are known to God individually. And when we die, God will not forget the sort of life we have lived. For example, when we help other needy people, God notices…and remembers.
Jesus will remember us for our own personal efforts to follow his example.
God willing, he will invite us individually to join with him in the joy and happiness of his world-wide Kingdom.