By Robbie Robertson/NEMS Daily Journal
A week or so ago I left the parking lot of the Wellness Center in Tupelo as I do on most of my work days.
On the way to my car, I walked by an old penny on the ground. I almost passed it up, not wanting to take the time to bend over and pick it up after a taxing afternoon of racquetball.
Then my thoughts drifted to a scene I witnessed this summer while attending the Mount Zion Camp meeting in Myrtle with my good friend Kelly Tingle of Union.
While at the all-day preaching event that brings some of the best fire-breathers from around the South, a lady approached the altar with a bag of pennies as an offering.
I remember thinking this was an odd way to give an offering until she explained her bag of pennies. She explained to the crowd these were all abandoned pennies she had come across in the past year. Every time she found one, she put it in her bag. Then she said the oddest thing. She said they represented all the lost souls out there in the world.
Boy, that really hit me hard.
It also brought me back to a sermon I heard about four years ago from the late evangelist Bro. Don Taylor from Newton County.
Bro. Taylor started out the sermon saying how he loved football, especially Mississippi State football, which brought a hearty amen from me. And like any loyal State fan, you naturally pull for the other teams in the Southeastern Conference in bowl games.
This happened to be the year Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators were playing for the national title. And in that game, Tebow had the verse John 3:16 written on his eye black.
That set off an Internet storm in which the phrase “John 3:16” was searched some 95 millions times in a 24-hour period, according to Google.
What that told Bro. Taylor and me was there were 95 million people in the world who had no idea what John 3:16 was and had gone to the Internet to find out.
As Christians, this should be distressing news to all of us. Are there really that many people who don’t know about John 3:16. I think as Christians, we take the simple things like, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
While we might not have the sort of reach Tim Tebow has, we are called to do our part, to go make disciples of all nations.
So next time you’re walking along your merry way and come across a stray penny, pick it up and start your own bag. And put that bag somewhere you can see it and pray for those lost souls out there. Because like that unwanted penny, many are just waiting for somebody who cares to come along.
Robbie Robertson works in the sports department at The Daily Journal and is a Baptist supply preacher. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.