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When Less Equals More
The best part of the sermon had to be my interview with Erika.
Byron: What would you think if you saw someone putting this big pile of bills in the collection basket?
Erika: That they really love Jesus!
Byron: Yeah, that’s a lot of money. What would you think of a person who only put in the two penny’s?
Erika: Well, that depends.
Byron: Depends on what?
Erika: Like, maybe if it was a homeless person that would show that they really loved Jesus too.
Perhaps I should have just stopped preaching right there.
The thing that really bothers me about this text is not that Jesus commends the widow; it’s that he ignores those who put in the large amounts of money! I’ve always been a tither; even when money got tight at home I never neglected my tithe. I’m convinced God has blessed my family in multiple ways because of that. However, this text ignores the tithers. Mark tells us that there were many rich people putting large amounts of money in the temple treasury. My guess is that they were all faithful tithers. They were simply doing what they were supposed to do. The truth is, they still had plenty left over. The widow put in all she had and even though it was a minuscule amount; Jesus called attention to her gift. “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything–all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43-44)
I’m worried for a church that makes widows like this feel like they’re a “ministry” and puts rich young rulers in positions of leadership! This text causes me no little discomfort.