Sunday, November 12, 2006

True giving

In the course of his teaching Jesus said to the crowds,
"Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes
and accept greetings in the marketplaces,
seats of honor in synagogues,
and places of honor at banquets.
They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext
recite lengthy prayers.
They will receive a very severe condemnation."

He sat down opposite the treasury
and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury.
Many rich people put in large sums.
A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents.
Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them,
"Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more
than all the other contributors to the treasury.
For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had,
her whole livelihood."

Mark 12:38-44

Dear Father in heaven,
How many times have we payed out what we owe to others with nothing left to give. As we approach your house to pray we bring what we can find to offer you. But sometimes the scribes do not know the poverty we live in and exhort us to give generously. We too bring with us all we have left to give.

How many in this world live in this way, in dire straights where they live from one paycheck to another with nothing saved. Where they have given a generous portion of their pay for healthcare costs, with not much else to support themselves. And to think that a small sum is given to the church. We have many who live this way, families with children, elderly with nothing left, handicapped people with no support. And they give far more generously than those who do have. Because it comes from their heart to give up what little they do have to give. They don't think about how it will strain their pocketbooks. They don't think about what giving costs them at all. Their thoughts are not on what they will receive for giving.

This is what Jesus means about true giving when it comes from the heart, awesome isn't it.

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