Thursday, June 16, 2011
But he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David's son? For David himself says in the Book of Psalms,“‘The Lord said to my Lord,Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.’David thus calls him Lord, so how is he his son?” And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 20:41-21:4
When we were children, if we ever ate out at a restaurant, and it was rare, my Dad would lead us in prayer. Never silently either. As a child I was mortified by his public display of faith and often found myself wanting to slink under the table. We always did things writ large as a family and the public prayer was just one of the public things we did. But, to my father and mother's great credit, what they did in public, they did in private. They walked the walk and talked the talk. They were generous to a fault and were always giving to others and the community with everything they had.
We find Jesus and his disciples observing in the temple. Jesus is instructing his disciples, as if they were on a field trip, simply showing them the difference between true faith and public display for attention. The widow, with all of her limits and lack, was more of an example than any of the religious leaders and political celebrities gathered in the temple.
Today, I want to thank God for those who taught me authentic faith begins with a humble heart and is demonstrated through generosity - acts of love and service. May we all seek to live a humble life of faith and service today, knowing God honors that in all of us.