I Can Give Til It Hurts
So, it's not about the price tag. Jesus wasn't interested in the dollar amount given. He was concerned with the heart of the giver. The rich gave a lot, but it paled in comparison to what they had. The widow gave a little, but it was all she had. The difference isn't in the amount of money - it's in the amount of generosity living in the givers.
I have spent a number of years learning how to give generously. There are some things that come easily to me. I love to cook and share a meal with whoever is hungry. I enjoy spending - and investing - time with my kids. I keep a mental note of all kinds of things people have casually mentioned they like, and then when the time is right, I will get those things for them as gifts.
Giving to an organization whose spending is more vague is tougher for me. I like to know the people being helped. I like to get recognition for my giving. For better or worse, I know these things about myself. Knowing makes it easier to work on those things. Jesus praised the one who gave, even though the giving hurt a little. Her example gives me hope that I will continue to grow into a person who gives, even out of scarcity, and with little recognition.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Luke 21:1-19
He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 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.”
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them. “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven. “But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.