Thursday, November 4, 2021

Friday prior to Proper 27

Mark 12:38-44–The sacrifices of God – a sacrifice of faith. Jesus compliments a poor widow for her sacrificial gift to the temple. Verses 38-40 serve as an introduction to our Gospel lesson for Sunday. Jesus warns the disciples against the scribes, for in their greed they devour widows’ houses. By contrast we see an impoverished widow who places two of the smallest coins, worth a penny, into the temple’s treasury. Jesus is sitting across from the offering boxes and observes the gift being given. He calls attention to the widow’s penny in contrast to the million-dollar gifts of the rich.  He claims that she gave more than any other, because she gave out of her poverty while others gave out of their abundance. 

Jesus warns against using self-serving religion to elevate ourselves above others. Clergy especially need to listen to Jesus at this point. Jesus shows all religious leaders and scholars the model for their leadership; humility, service, and sacrifice. For His sacrifice has atoned for us all.

Jesus uses the sacrifice of a widow to illustrate for His disciples the character of absolute dependence on God. Wealth and possession can pose a spiritual threat - wealth has a way of owning its possessor. Jesus' love and sacrifice motivate us to offer our whole lives to Him as our daily offering of gratitude. He gave up everything, including His life, on the cross for us.

A widow was almost always poor because she had no husband to support her. There was no insurance policies, no death benefits plan, no Social Security. Because she was extremely poor, she could have been excused from giving to the Lord’s treasury. Rather she should have been given something from the treasury. Her gift proved that she was not poor spiritually. She had the riches of faith in God to motivate her.

Lord, grant us humble hearts and willing spirits to fulfill our callings faithfully. -05 November 2021

[1] Two pennies © Google images

No comments: