Teaching in the temple, Jesus said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows' houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation."
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on." Mark 12:38-44
We have just returned from a long sojourn in Washington DC and Baltimore. We participated in the celebrations for Michael Curry, visited old friends in DC area and Baltimore and attended a symposium for my aunt, Kay WalkingStick at the National Museum of the American Indian. I came away with a new notion of wealth. We saw lots of people we know who have enriched our lives immeasurably. Each has contributed to our lives and the lives of others in what might have been considered small ways, but from this distant is recognizable as making huge differences in our lives. We can never repay them for their investment in us, their love and their laughter.
Today we overhear Jesus with his disciples in the temple. He makes it very clear as to who the big givers truly are, and how not to live. The proud and haughty are foolish and the humble and poor are honored in God's sight. We are invited to give what we have, small as it might seem. God has a use for every one of our offerings and will increase it exponetially.
Today I ask God to help me be humble and give all that I can. May our generosity come form our hearts and may we share what we have so that others might thrive.
O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.