By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Grace Notes - What's it Worth?
Placeholder Image

If you remember the story of the wise men from Matthew 2, you probably remember that they did something that might strike you as a little odd. They brought stupendously valuable gifts to a baby, gold and incense and myrrh. And these three kings, these powerful, influential, important men, bowed to a child.

Why? That child didn’t appear to have any power or wisdom or value. In fact, in those days, you couldn’t put much stock in a baby at all since so many of them didn’t even make it to adulthood. But the light of the truth had dawned in the hearts of those magi and they saw what human eyes could never see. Their eyes of faith saw the value of their Savior. That baby came to die for their sins and to win them and us an eternal home. That baby was worth far more than the gifts they brought him.

And here’s the beautiful thing: You see it too. You see the light. And when that light breaks our darkness, it fills our heart. God shows us what it’s all worth.

It’s really an interesting study when you start evaluating what things are worth. The same baseball may go for $8 in new condition and then suddenly someone will pay hundreds of thousands for it once it has been used in a game or written on by someone famous. How do you figure out what something’s worth?

Take a tear for example. What is that worth? How much do you think I’d get for one of mine on Ebay? Probably nothing, right?

But do you think I’d ever even think of giving up the tear I shed when I watched my kids confess their faith so beautifully at our Children’s Christmas Service last month? Was that worthless? The feeling that overwhelmed me and leaked out my eye of knowing that they knew their Savior and that they will be in heaven forever with him, and they are even telling others about that right at the very moment that tear was shed, knowing all the millions of miracles that it took to make that happen… Is that tear worthless?

Or how about the one that trickled down my face when we said goodbye to my wife’s dad after his battle with cancer was done? That tear that sprung from the sadness to see him go mixed with the joy at his victory and the release of his pain and the confidence that he is celebrating with his Savior right now…is that worthless? No. In fact, I’d say it is completely the opposite of worthless. And if you’ve ever shed a tear of faith — you know the value. It’s priceless.

That light of the Gospel is just that priceless. Do you remember how brightly it shined the first time you saw it in your darkness? Maybe it’s been shining for you as long as you can remember, or maybe it’s been more recent, but do you remember when you first saw the difference between the darkness and light?

I know it is way too easy to forget the thrill, to forget the value, to take this light for granted, but God just keeps showing us his love. And when he shows us his love, whether it is the unbeliever who sees forgiveness for the first time, or the one who has called themself a Christian for decades who finally understands that our relationship with God is based not on our obedience, but on his grace, that light shines. The beauty of it brings a tear to the eye, one of the priceless kind.

Once we realize the worth of the message of our Savior, those gifts of the wise men make a whole lot more sense, don’t they? Let’s follow their example and bring our absolute best to our Savior this year.

He’s worth it.


Jonathan Scharf is pastor of Abiding Grace Lutheran Church in Covington. Full sermons and more information can be found at