Key verses: (41-44) “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.”
Reflection: What was the widow thinking as she walked up to put her coins in the treasury? The leaders marginalize widows and even take their homes yet she continues to be faithful. I might want to make a dramatic statement by withholding my coins or saying something when I put those coins in treasury!
Dietrich Bonhoeffer referred to this common reaction we have as “cheap grace” where grace is merely a doctrine. Grace without a cost to the person covered by it is not grace at all but a nod to the idea of grace. The widow understands what costly grace is all about. It requires us to give everything; our last dime, our last ounce of energy, our last drop of compassion to anyone who is in need. She did what was required.
As hard as it is, we must seek to emulate the faithfulness of the widow. I believe she understood that she is a powerful witness against the cheap grace that the leaders of her day were perpetuating. We can follow her example and continue to be powerful witnesses to God’s costly grace as we seek to make the church more welcoming and inclusive. The widow kept coming and giving, coming and giving, week after week, day after day. In our faithfulness, we can once again make costly grace the only desirable kind.
Prayer: Loving God, you call me to put my trust in you, stepping out in faith. Help me put aside my need to be right and to get more. May I do what is required. In the name of Christ, Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].