Scripture: Luke 20:41-21:4
Key verses: (21:3-4) He said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”
Reflection: December is “shopping season” in our world. It’s hard to find a parking space at the mall. Free shipping with our online shopping can be a great surprise; but do I need to pay for next-day delivery? Children sit on Santa’s lap to share a long list of “wants.” Commercials run on the TV for new toys, and great clothes, and cars (how do they get those huge bows tied on the cars?). It can be difficult to extricate ourselves from the societal pressure to focus on shopping and gifts this month.
We find ourselves sitting with Jesus in the temple, watching people put their gifts into the temple treasury box. A poor widow put in two small copper coins and Jesus points to her gifts as a challenge for faithful living. Imagine if this happened in our church world. The temple scene is kind of like Christmas morning as each person opens gifts from under the tree. Jesus could see each gift and each giver. Imagine Jesus sitting in the front of the church as people come up with their gifts. What does he see? What does he conclude about us? What thoughts will he share with the gathered congregation?
This weekend you might need to go to the mall or you might place an online order. I encourage you to stop, reflect and ask yourself what Jesus might say to you about your gift giving. Jesus might shift you toward a different kind of giving, toward a generosity that isn’t based on expectation or on reciprocity. Jesus might shift you toward giving to those in need rather than giving to satisfy the list of wants. Jesus might shift your priorities so that you focus on him and live in his way.
Prayer: O God, everything I have belongs to you. Teach me to be a steward of what I have so that I honor you with my spending, my saving and my giving. Shift me toward generosity and charity and justice. Help me to follow Christ. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[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].