Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Morning Prayer Reading 50

David mourns the deaths of Saul and Jonathan 
1 Samuel 18 - 2 Samuel 1 
(Selective Verses)

6 As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. 7 And the women sang to one another as they celebrated,

Saul has struck down his thousands,
    and David his ten thousands.”

8 And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” 15 And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. 

19 And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul's son, delighted much in David. 2 And Jonathan told David, “Saul my father seeks to kill you. Therefore be on your guard." 

 31 Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. 2 And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. 3 The battle pressed hard against Saul, and the archers found him, and he was badly wounded by the archers.  6 Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together.

2 And on the third day, behold, a man came from Saul's camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and paid homage. 3 David said to him, “Where do you come from?” And he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” 4 And David said to him, “How did it go? Tell me.” And he answered, “The people fled from the battle, and also many of the people have fallen and are dead, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.” 5 Then David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” 6 And the young man who told him said, “By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear, and behold, the chariots and the horsemen were close upon him.  9 And he said to me, ‘Stand beside me and kill me, for anguish has seized me, and yet my life still lingers.’ 10 So I stood beside him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”

11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. 12 And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 14 David said to him, “How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?” 15 Then David called one of the young men and said, “Go, execute him.” And he struck him down so that he died. 16 And David said to him, “Your blood be on your head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord's anointed.’”

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Morning Prayer Reading 49

David and Goliath Part 2 
Samuel 17 
(Selective Verses)

41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand.”

48 When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.

50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52 And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron.

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Illustration from a woodcut by Baron Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872, a distinguished German artist known especially for his book, Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden (The Book of Books in Pictures). © WELS used by permission for personal and congregational use. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Proper 28 Series B

PROPER 28 Series B
(November 13–19)

Daniel 12:1–3
Hebrews 10:11–25
Mark 13:1–13

The Crucified and Risen Body of Christ Jesus Is the True Temple of God

O Lord, by Your bountiful goodness release us from the bonds of our sins, which by reason of our weakness we have brought upon ourselves, that we may stand firm until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Lord of harvest, great and kind, Rouse to action heart and mind; Let the gathering nations all See Your light and heed Your call. (LSB 840:4)

Despite its “wonderful stones” and “great buildings,” the Jerusalem temple would be torn down, not one stone left upon another; just as this present world and its kingdoms will come to an end (Mark 13:1–8). 

But that temple pointed beyond itself to Christ, to His sacrifice upon the Cross, and to the resurrection of His Body as the true Temple of God. In the midst of sin and death, by the proclamation of the Gospel, He now gathers disciples into His Body, wherein “the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:10–13). 

For He is “a great priest over the house of God,” who “will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” By the pure water of His Baptism, they “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,” and by His flesh and blood they enter the Holy of Holies (Hebrews 10:17–22). 

Thus are His people delivered, “everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.” For by the wisdom of His Gospel, He turns “many to righteousness,” so that “many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake” to everlasting life (Daniel 12:1–3).

Jesus begins to talk about the fall of Jerusalem and the end of the world with a prediction of the temple's destruction. What makes a house of worship worthy is not its outward appearance but the Word of God in it. 

The temple in Jerusalem had been the "embassy" of heaven on earth. With the birth of Jesus, this temple would no longer serve that purpose. Now, in Jesus Christ, the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily among us. (See Colossians2:9) 

Jesus warms His disciples about the coming troubles they will face as they bring the Gospel into the world. He encourages them to trust God and rely on the Holy Spirit, especially when they face opposition and persecution.  

Nobody likes to be shown his or her sin. As Christians proclaim Law and Gospel, they need to be ready to endure the loss of everything including their lives. 

Because God wants all people to hear the Gospel. He prolongs the NT age so that the Church may witness to all the earth. To His alone we owe the survival of our personal faith as well. 

Before the end of the world comes, there will be natural disasters and Christ's followers will be persecuted.  This chapter from Mark's Gospel, is known as the "Little Apocalypse." 

It is the last long teaching of Jesus in Mark, as though it were a farewell speech. The destruction of the temple is predicted and the disciples privately asked Jesus when this would occur and what would be the signs of the end. 

But these signs mark only the beginning of the end: earthquakes, wars, and persecution. The end will not come until the Gospel is preached to all nations. When will the end come? When the last pagan is converted.

Mark 13:1-13- 

Mark 13:1  
1 Καὶ ἐκπορευομένου αὐτοῦ ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ λέγει αὐτῷ εἷς τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ• Διδάσκαλε, ἴδε ποταποὶ λίθοι καὶ ποταπαὶ οἰκοδομαί. 
And coming out of the temple one of his disciples said look at these wonderful buildings. 

A genitive absolute. (Luke 21) "destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up". John 2:19  Is the trust being put in the temple?  This is coming right after the faith of the widow. All she had was God. The temple will be distorted as He Will be distorted. 

Mark 13:2 
2 καὶ ὁ [a]Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ• Βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς; οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ [b]ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ [c]λίθον ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ.
And Jesus said to him, do you see the majestic buildings, surely they will be loosed from another. 

Future strong negation. Absolutely not the stones will absolutely not be standing. The negatives get strongly. 4 of them stacked together. Passion. Is Jesus raising his voice?  The temple, the old system will all be disproved.

Mark 13:3  
3 Καὶ καθημένου αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ Ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν κατέναντι τοῦ ἱεροῦ [d]ἐπηρώτα αὐτὸν κατ’ ἰδίαν Πέτρος καὶ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης καὶ Ἀνδρέας•
After he had sat down on the Mt. of Olives, over against the temple. They asked him by themselves, the four asked, when will these things happen, what is the sign when all these things will be carried out? 

The Mt. Of Olives where he will be arrested, from the east where Messiah will come.  Mark 8 the Pharisees asked for a sign and received none.

Mark 13:4  
4 Εἰπὸν ἡμῖν πότε ταῦτα ἔσται, καὶ τί τὸ σημεῖον ὅταν μέλλῃ [e]ταῦτα συντελεῖσθαι πάντα. 
Now Jesus began to say to them, watch out, least no one leave you astray. 

Don't look for the signs. They ask in faith. But why ask for the sign?  Signs are not the point. Live within your vocation. Do what is given you. We all want to avoid suffering. 

Mark 13:5-6 
5 ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς [f]ἤρξατο λέγειν αὐτοῖς• Βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς πλανήσῃ•6 [g]πολλοὶ ἐλεύσονται ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου λέγοντες ὅτι Ἐγώ εἰμι, καὶ πολλοὺς πλανήσουσιν.
Watch least no one deceive you. Many will come on behalf of Me claiming, "I am He" and will deceive many.  

Panic is the pastime of despair. We're called to faithfulness. 

Mark 13:7  
7 ὅταν δὲ [h]ἀκούσητε πολέμους καὶ ἀκοὰς πολέμων, μὴ θροεῖσθε• [i]δεῖ γενέσθαι, ἀλλ’ οὔπω τὸ τέλος.
Still and when you hear of wars and hearings of wars do not be disturbed don't freak out don't panic. They must come but not yet the end. 

Mark 13:8 
8 ἐγερθήσεται γὰρ ἔθνος ἐπ’ ἔθνος καὶ βασιλεία ἐπὶ βασιλείαν, [j]ἔσονται σεισμοὶ κατὰ τόπους, [k]ἔσονται [l]λιμοί• [m]ἀρχὴ ὠδίνων ταῦτα.
Nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places. These are only the beginnings of the birth pangs.  

Mark 13:9  
9 βλέπετε δὲ ὑμεῖς ἑαυτούς• [n]παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς συνέδρια καὶ εἰς συναγωγὰς δαρήσεσθε καὶ ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνων καὶ βασιλέων σταθήσεσθε ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς. 
See to yourselves, you will be betrayed into the hands of the Sanhedrin, stand before kings, and on account of me you will be martyred.   

A court room scene. "

"We have entered that midnight hour when even the virgins sleep." - Walther 

Mark 13:10 
10 καὶ εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη [o]πρῶτον δεῖ κηρυχθῆναι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον.
It is necessary that this good message be preached to all the nations first.  See Revelation 6. 

Mark 13:11  
11 [p]καὶ ὅταν [q]ἄγωσιν ὑμᾶς παραδιδόντες, μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε τί [r]λαλήσητε, ἀλλ’ ὃ ἐὰν δοθῇ ὑμῖν ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦτο λαλεῖτε, οὐ γάρ ἐστε ὑμεῖς οἱ λαλοῦντες ἀλλὰ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον.
And when they lead/hand you over to trial do not fret what to say, but the Holy Spirit will speak for you. 

To whom is Jesus speaking? Only these four. NOT to every Christian. We have the creed, what has been given to us as eye-witnesses. 

Mark 13:12  
12 [s]καὶ παραδώσει ἀδελφὸς ἀδελφὸν εἰς θάνατον καὶ πατὴρ τέκνον, καὶ ἐπαναστήσονται τέκνα ἐπὶ γονεῖς καὶ θανατώσουσιν αὐτούς•
Brother will deliver brother unto death and Fathers their children putting them to death. Yours safe place is not safe. 

Mark 13:13 
13 καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι ὑπὸ πάντων διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου. ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος οὗτος σωθήσεται.
You will be hated by all on account of My name but those who endure until the end will be saved. 

The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software

This day in history

This day in history

This Veteran’s Day (11 November 2018) will mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War 1. On November 11th, 1918, the armistice was signed between the Axis and Allies ending the First World War.

The armistice was the culmination of a coordinated Allied offensive extending across the western front, a distance of more than 400 miles. Faced with this overwhelming advance, the Germans were driven back from the territory they had fought hard to acquire over four long years of war.

With the situation looking increasingly dire with every passing day, the Germans dispatched a diplomatic delegation to the front.   

On the morning of November 11th in Compiègne, France, an armistice was reached between the Allies and Germany, declaring a cessation to hostilities on the western front effective the 11th hour, of the 11th of day, of the 11th month. Four years of intense fighting had cost all combatant nations dearly, and Allied soldiers and civilians alike rejoiced.

The signing of the Armistice on November 11th became a national holiday in the United States. Veteran’s Day has been established not only to honor those who served in the First World War, and helped bring it to a close but for us to honor all those who have served in the Armed forces of our country.

On November 11 the Church remembers Martin of Tours who served in the military and later became a chaplain and Bishop in the church.  The most famous story regarding Martin is the Legend of Martin’s Cloak.  While Martin was a soldier in the Roman army and stationed in Gaul (which is now modern-day France), he experienced a vision, which became the most-repeated story about his life. One day as he was approaching the gates of the city he met a scantily clad beggar. He impulsively cut his military cloak in half to share with the man. That night, Martin dreamed of Jesus wearing the half-cloak he had given away. He heard Jesus say to the angels: "Martin, who is still but a catechumen, clothed me with this robe." The dream confirmed Martin in his piety. On November 11 we remember not only those veterans who served in former wars but also the chaplains who serve our armed forces in peace time, conflicts and war.

Luther was born on 10 November and baptized the very next day. Thus he was given the name Martin because Luther was baptized on that specific date November 11, 1483.

“Almighty God, our heavenly Father, in Whose hands are the living and the dead; we give You thanks for all those Your servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country.. Grant to them Your mercy and the light of Your presence, that the good work which You have begun in them may be perfected on the Last Great Day; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Lord of Hoses, Your servant Martin the soldier embodied the spirit of sacrifice. He became a bishop in Your Church to defend the faith. Give us grace to follow in his steps to that when our Lord returns we may be clothed with the baptismal garment of righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 

Time in the Word - Pentecost 26 - Proper 28

Time in the Word
 November 12-17, 2018
Proper 28
Preparation for the Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Sunday’s Theme is simply “The Coming End of the World.” Mark’s “Little Apocalypse,” Chapter 13,is being used to introduce the theme of the end times. Sunday’s Gospel deals with the events of disaster and persecution that mark the birth-pangs of the final end of the world. The Old Testament lesson was chosen to harmonize with the Gospel for it, too, speaks of the end of time and God’s deliverance of His people. The Epistle lesson continues the discussion of Christ as high priest, but indicates that after His once-for-all sacrifice, He is waiting in His exalted state for the defeat of His enemies. As the church year comes to a close, it is fitting to dwell on the end of the world and the return of Christ.

 This Week’s Morning Prayer Readings

Read and review the following Bible stories for each day…

Mon. Nov. 12-David & Goliath II - 1 Samuel 17- selective verses

Tues. Nov. 13–David mourns the death of Saul and Jonathan
-1 Samuel 18- 2 Samuel 1- selective verses

Wed. Nov. 14– Chapel Day

Thurs. Nov. 15-David rules -2 Samuel 5-selective verses

Fri. –Nov. 16 -David & Bathsheba Pt.1 -2 Samuel 11- selective verses

From the Small Catechism – 3rd Article and Introduction to the Lord's Prayer

A prayer for Christ’s return – O Lord, absolve Your people from their offenses that from the bonds of our sins, which by reason of our weakness we have brought upon us, we may be delivered by Your bountiful goodness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

For strong faith in Christ – Almighty and ever-living God, since You have given exceedingly great and precious promises to those who believe, grant us so perfectly and without all doubt to believe in Your Son Jesus Christ, that our faith in Your sight may never be reproved; through our Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Collect for Proper 28 –O Lord, by Your bountiful goodness release us from the bonds of our sins, which by reason of our weakness we have brought upon ourselves, that we may stand firm until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Monday, 12 November 2018Psalm 48:11-14, Antiphon, Mark 13:13b–The one who endures to the end will be saved.   The words of the Antiphon are simple, direct, and profound. If you endure to the end, you will be saved. Lord grant while worlds endure we keep God’s teachings pure throughout all generations!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018Psalm 16; key verse, verse 11You will show me the path of life. The Psalm for this week reminds us that God is our refuge in trying times and assures us that God will not abandon us in our trials.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018Daniel 12:1-3–At a time of great trouble, both the living and the dead will be delivered and the wicked condemned. This week’s Old Testament lesson comes from the prophet Daniel. It deals with the Persian period of history and predicts the end of history. At the end there will be great trouble in the world, but God’s people will be delivered because Michael, Israel’s angelic guardian, will come to their rescue. The saved will be those living and dead who have their names in the book of life, a list of God’s faithful people. Here is a statement of the resurrection from the Old Testament. The dead will be raised for eternal life or for eternal death (“contempt”).  This life is not the end, but the final verdict comes at the resurrection.

Thursday, 15 November 2018Hebrews10:11-18 – After His perfect sacrifice, Jesus is seated at God’s right hand until all of His enemies are defeated.  The one supreme sacrifice of Christ removes the necessity of repeated sacrifices of animals. These repeated sacrifices cannot remove sin. Jesus’ one sacrifice perfected the faithful. After the perfect offering, Jesus is seated now at God’s right hand waiting for all evil forces to be subjected to Him. This once-for-all-time offering initiated a new covenant which cancels all former covenants and their sacrifices. It is a new covenant of forgiveness. Since there is forgiveness in and through the new covenant, there is no need of other sacrifices for sin.
Friday, 16 November 2018Mark 13:1-13– Before the end of the world comes, there will be natural disasters and Christ’s followers will be persecuted.  This chapter from Mark’s Gospel, is known as the “Little Apocalypse.” It is the last long teaching of Jesus in Mark, as though it were a farewell speech. The destruction of the temple is predicted and the disciples privately asked Jesus when this would occur and what would be the signs of the end. But these signs mark only the beginning of the end: earthquakes, wars, and persecution. The end will not come until the Gospel is preached to all nations. When will the end come? When the last pagan is converted.

Saturday, 17 November 2018—Hebrews 12:1-3; Revelation 2:10; 14:13; 17:14is the inspiration for the hymn, For All the Saints (LSB 677).  Soon we will close out the church year. As citizens of the United States, we are also citizens of another country – the Kingdom of Christ in glory. This week we have celebrated Veteran’s Day honoring those who have served in the armed forces of our nation. At the same time, we honor Christ who has served us defeating our last great enemy death and opened for us the gate which leads to eternal life.

Collect for Pentecost 25 - O Lord, we pray that the visitation of Your grace may so cleanse our thoughts and minds that Your Son Jesus Christ, when He shall come, may find in us a fit dwelling place; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

For those in distressed - Almighty and everlasting God, the consolation of the sorrowful and the strength of the weak, may the prayers of those who in any tribulation or distress cry to You graciously come before You, so that in all their necessities they may mark and receive Your manifold help and comfort; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A Prayer for Peace -O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works proceed, give to Your servants that peace which the world simply cannot give that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended by You, may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House
Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B – John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Pentecost 25 - Proper 27

Pentecost 25 – Proper 27
November 11, 2018
Mark 12:38-44

O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that, being ever mindful of the end of all things and Your just judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with You forever hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Jesus warns the disciples against the scribes, “For in their greed they devour widow’s houses.” By contrast, we see an impoverished widow. Who places two of the smallest coins, worth a penny, into the temple’s treasury.

In the weeks leading up to this morning’s gospel what has Jesus encountered?

We have learned that…Our Lord condemns – The scribes and Pharisees. For their hypocrisy. By their traditions, they had destroyed the commandment, which requires children to honor their father and mother, teaching them to find excuse from helping their parents. “For in their greed they devour widow’s houses.”

The Law of Moses required His people to “honor” their parents. That term “honor” did not suggest mere “lip service”; it included the idea of caring for them in their various needs. However, they had concocted a scheme to avoid this specific responsibility. 

Jesus takes issues with the religious elitists and their false and petty piety - specifically concerning the care of parents - when He says, “You neatly reject the commandment of God in order to set up your tradition. Mark 7:10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever insults his father or mother must be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if anyone tells his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you would have received from me is now corban’ (that is, a gift for God), 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like this.” (Vv.9-13)     

A rich young man approaches Jesus asking Him, “What must I do to inherit salvation?” Jesus responds, “You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, (#5) Do not commit adultery, (#6) Do not steal, (#7) Do not bear false witness, (#8) Do not defraud, (#9-10) Honor your father and mother. (#4)’” (Mark 10:17)

Notice what is happening here. Jesus lists the commandments from #5-10 and circles back to #4. Reason why? The man was defrauding his parents.

And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.   All he had to do was sell what he had to honor and provide for his family. Yet he walked disheartened and sorrowful because of his wealth. Wealth he had received on the backs of his parents.

Jesus is sitting across from the offering boxes. He observes the gifts being given. He calls attention to the widow’s penny. In contrast to the million-dollar gifts offered by the rich. He claims that she gave more than any other. She gave the most. Because she gave out of her poverty. While others gave out of their abundance.

The heroine is an unnamed widow. She needed the money more than the temple or the priests. It would be expected that those who have should give. But those who have nothing – would not be expected to give. But here is a woman. Whose total wealth - are two tiny coins. Her net worth – a penny! Jesus singles her out. She is the example for us.

This widow. Is singled out. She had given more than all the rich put together. She gave her whole living. She gave everything! She gave. ALL!

A widow was almost always poor. Because she had no husband to support her. There were no insurance policies. No death benefits plan. No Social Security.

This impoverished widow. Why was she poor? Back then. Most were poor. The widows were even more destitute and deprived – of property and possessions. Impoverished and insolvent. Overdrawn and in debt. She was broke and bankrupt. And, it could very well be. She found herself in this horrible condition. At the hands of her own children. 

The widow gave voluntarily all that she had. She had very little – “two mites” (KJV), “two very small copper coins, worth on a fraction of a penny” (NIV) What she gave equaled to 1/64 of a Denarius– A Denarius was one day’s pay. 

Let’s do the math in today’s dollars and cents.

According to a Money Magazine article dated March 15, 2018 we find that…   
  • The median household income for residents in the state of Indiana is: $50,532
  • Divide that total by 250 (50 weeks x 5 working days  = $202.12/day)
  • $202.12/64 =$3.15
  • She dropped in two coins = $6.30

Now she had nothing. Nothing left except for two coins worth $3.15 each. She trusted she would be taken care of.  Even though the institution in which she was affiliated was wicked; corrupt crooked criminal.   

She gave everything –They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.  She had given more than all the rich people put together because she had given her whole living. Now she had nothing left! Yet, Jesus knew she would be taken care of by God, in whom she trusted. For this reason her faith is counted as great! It was not the amount of the widow’s gift but the attitude in which she gave. She gave as the Savior gave of Himself. 

Jesus is present where His word is taught and preached. Jesus is present where the Sacraments administered. When hymns are sung. And prayers said. But He is also present where money is given for the work of His kingdom.  Such giving is holy. An activity that Jesus willingly observes. He observed that many gave much. This poor widow - gave the most!

During difficult times. Especially in times of hardship. You need to remember Christ’s presence and power to save. The Savior still calls us to be witnesses for Him in this world for He uses you to be His ambassador of peace and good will. As we gather to worship, to pray, to meet the Savior as He comes to us through His means of grace His message of life and salvation will encourage, strengthen and comfort you.

Jesus does all the work, as He points us to the place where our salvation was won; at a cross and empty tomb. The Father is the one who lifts us up to Himself through His mercy and grace. All He asks of us is to place our faith and confidence in Him and to trust Him to do the work He has promised to do.

Jesus moves you to voluntary sacrifice. By reminding you, that He willingly gave His all. His vey life for yours. He left heaven's glory. He became poor for you. He freely bestowed on you forgiveness. And clothed you in His righteousness. By renewing your minds through Word and Spirit so that you give first yourself and then your money, as thank offerings to Him. [1] By pointing you to His ample provision of all your needs. [2]  

Jesus is not dependent on your gifts. Yet He has arranged to carry out His church's work through people just like you. He encourages you to serve your neighbor joyfully.

Jesus sees everything. He sees how much you give.  And your giving is not limited to cash. He sees how you invest your time. He sees how you use your talents. He sees how you employ your gifts. He knows what you value. He sees how you care for others. This widow still serves as an example for us. She gave in faithful response to the only one who would provide – when all had abandoned her – there she was – serving with all that she had.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Words -1,500
Passive Sentences -7%
Readability –79%
Reading Level -4.7 

[1] 2.Corinthians 8:2-5; 9:7

[2] Malachi 3:10; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Philippians 4:19

[3] Peace Prayer of Saint Francis https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/prayer/traditional-catholic-prayers/saints-prayers/peace-prayer-of-saint-francis