In 1859 Charles Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities. One of the bestselling novels of all time, this was a story about the difference between two different places that were not so far apart geographically but worlds apart politically – England and France. The story had its setting in 1775 as the French Revolution was beginning to take shape. Dickens began his story with these words:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was
the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it
was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it
was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.
It seems incredible that life could be so different for those who were living just a few miles apart, but it was.
I have another story to relate. I call it the “Tale of Two Bills.” Here’s how it goes.
A well-worn one dollar bill and a similarly distressed twenty dollar bill arrived at a Federal Reserve Bank to be retired. As they moved along the conveyor belt to be burned, they struck up a conversation. The twenty dollar bill reminisced about its travels all over the country.
“I’ve had a pretty good life. Why, I’ve been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the finest restaurants in New York, performances on Broadway, and even a cruise to the Caribbean.”
“Wow!” said the one dollar bill. “You really have had an exciting life!”
“So, tell me,” said the twenty, “where have you been throughout your lifetime?”
“The one dollar bill replied, “Oh, I’ve been to the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, the Christian Church …”
The twenty dollar bill interrupted, “What’s a church?”
Whether we take our twenty, fifty, or hundred dollar bill to church may actually determine whether the people of this world will experience the best of times or the worst of times; whether they will be going direct to heaven or going direct the other way. We can have an impact on our world by the monetary gifts we share. In a few weeks, we will once again be challenged to consider making a promise in faith so that others can hear about Jesus. Let’s begin to pray that God would lead us in making that decision.
C U N Church,