TITLE: A Rare Value
DATE: January 25, 2019
TEXT: Is 53: 2b-3 – ESV - he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected[b] by men, a man of sorrows[c] and acquainted with[d] grief;[ and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
The Federal Government has been known to make mistakes.
Yes, it’s true. You may not want to believe that about Uncle Sam, but he has, upon occasion, messed up. And some of those mistakes have been, how can I say it without seeming to be judgmental… ah, how about this: … some of those mistakes have been beauties, both costly and foolish.
But this devo speaks of a mistake which was neither costly or foolish. Indeed, since it involves a penny, it is as cheap a mistake as the Feds are ever likely to make.
Here’s the story. It was World War II and copper, the stuff of pennies, was being used to make shell casings and telephone wire and other important necessities of war. That’s why, in 1943, the government decided to mint all pennies out of iron, not copper.
And they did just that. The Government minted millions upon millions of those iron pennies. That came off without a hitch. The problem was, down deep in their stamping machines, a few copper penny blanks were hiding out. During the minting process, those copper blanks became copper pennies. And the mint didn’t catch the mistake.
So there you have it… millions of iron pennies and, maybe, 20 copper pennies were minted with that 1943 date. Over the years a few of those copper pennies have surfaced…
Including one found by a Massachusetts teen-age boy when he paid for his school lunch. The enterprising lad tried to trade his penny to Henry Ford for a new car. That didn’t work. He contacted the U.S. Mint to see if they wanted to buy the coin. The Treasury department said, :Coin? What coin?” Even today they insist no such coin has ever been struck.
Well, the coin had been struck, and now that the teen-aged owner has grown old and died. His coin, the most famous coin ever accidentally minted in the US, is going to be auctioned off.
Best guess: that penny is going to be sold for $1.7 million dollars.
After reading that story, I simply had to check the pennies in my pocket. Nope, nothing valuable here. Then I checked my change jar. Nothing there, either. Then I considered checking our 5-gallon jug which has a ton of pennies.(I may do that later.)
The truth is, I may have had one of those 1943 copper pennies… but I never knew it nor did I know how valuable it was. Less than five have been found… that means 15 may still be out there… just waiting to make some observing soul pretty rich.
But most of us aren’t observing souls. Indeed, most of us, seeing a penny on the ground don’t stop and bend over to pick it up. Why? The effort isn’t worth it…not for a penny…
Which is the way a great many people have felt about Jesus.
He is the Saver of lost souls; the Bringer of forgiveness; the Friend of the lonely; the Conqueror of death and Strength for those who are weak. And, unlike that penny, He is absolutely unique, a One-of-a-kind. He makes those who count Him as Redeemer rich beyond relief… and those who choose to ignore Him; sadly, they remain unnecessarily spiritually poor forever.
Which leads me to say, “If you do see Jesus as your Redeemer, value Him.”
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, let me see and appreciate the value of Jesus Who has saved me from my sins. In His Name I ask it. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written by Stephanie Valera for Geek.com on January 8, 2019 . Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active: https://www.geek.com/culture/rare-penny-found-in-boys-lunch-money-could-fetch-up-to-1-7-million-in-auction-1768904/
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html