“Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others.” (Luke 21:3)
IT’S TIME AGAIN for the morning offering. Ushers bring around wooden plates, and people silently put in their money, taking great pains to hide how much they give. Checks are folded; cash is put in envelopes; tithing is preached, but each respects the other’s right to decide on how much to give without any extra pressure.
This was not the case in Jesus’ day, when giving was done by throwing coins into a big, resounding metal funnel. The more money you gave, the more others recognized your generosity. Even a noisy courtyard would stop and notice when a wealthy man poured in a chunk of change, and the resounding clang echoed his virtue to everyone.
“Clink! Clink!” Two copper coins, dropped in by an insignificant widow, a nobody in that culture. No one stopped what they were doing; no one even noticed except Jesus. He recognized that in this gift, this woman gave her fortune, risked her next meal. Jesus noticed that she had given all and had simple faith that God would provide.
Nothing is sweeter to Jesus than when his disciples give all they have, whether a little or a lot. He is not impressed with flashy gifts, with wealth that is never missed once given. But he does notice sacrificial giving. He takes note of you and me when we give everything we have.
Give freely, knowing that God will take care of you.
Michael Jordan is the dean of the chapel at Houghton College (New York), where he also serves as chair of the Department of Biblical Studies, Theology, and Philosophy.
© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.