Do you plan to use the new presidential $1 coins? Are you even aware that there are new presidential $1 coins? Even though 100 million have been minted, I think it’s doubtful that they will catch on in a big way. Silver dollars used to be popular because they were massive, had valuable silver content, and just felt great in your hand. Modern-day dollar coins have all bombed: Eisenhowers, Susan B. Anthonys, Sacagaweas. Nobody wants ‘em. I had to get rid of a couple last month and the sales clerk scrutinized them as though I were a counterfeiter.
Recently an extremely rare 1792 experimental dime was the centerpiece of a Dallas coin collection that sold for $30 million. Coin collecting seems to have lost mass popularity since the days when I was a kid saving wheat ear pennies. It is now the province of wealthy collectors who ignore most coins and fight over just the super-rarities.
Coinage was invented in the ancient kingdom of Lydia (now western Turkey) around 500 B.C. Coinage pops up several times in the Biblical Gospels: as a visual aid to help people pay their taxes more cheerfully (“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s”), as a symbol of a day’s wages (a denarius for vineyard work), and generosity in poverty (the widow’s two lepta or “mites”.)
Without a doubt the most famous use of coins in Bible stories is Judas’ bag of 30 silver denarii . That story resonates throughout the centuries as a warning about trading our treasure for trash. As you jingle the coins in your pocket today, as you throw your day’s pennies into your giant penny jug, as your change at the supermarket is spit automatically into a curved little tray, think about Judas. Think about a man who sold his soul because he loved money so much. Think about a Savior who bled to death because he loved you so much. Choose today to consider Jesus Christ as the most valuable thing in your life.