Today’s reading is Luke 21.
The widow’s story is not about how we treat the church’s first day of the week collection. It is actually about how we treat our every day of the week hope. The point about the widow is not that proportionally she gave a bunch of money. This widow was giving away all she had in her possession to live on. However, the Law actually made provision for her support. According to Deuteronomy 14:28-29 and 26:12, the tithe was supposed to support widows. According to Deuteronomy 10:18, God executes justice for the widow, providing food and clothing. When the widow gave both of her coins, she was demonstrating how much she trusted God. She could have put just one coin in, holding one back to at least have something in case God didn’t come through. But she didn’t. She put both in the temple treasury. If this story were merely about proportional giving in the collection, surely half would have been enough. After all, that is how much Zacchaeus gave to the poor. The issue here is not about the proportion of our giving, but the proportion of our hope. This story is not intended to give us a rule that says we put every bit of our income in the church’s collection plate. The point is we put every bit of our hope in God. That means we use what material goods we have His way, to accomplish His goals, to do what He directed. That is going to include supporting the work of the congregation, sharing generously with those in need (especially within the household of faith), helping in cases of urgent need, providing for our families, etc. Rather than hoarding our goods because we want to make sure we are taken care of in case God’s plan fails, we trust God and use these funds His way. We put all of our hope in Him.
Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 21.
A Word for Our Kids
Hey kids, this story of the widow is maybe more shocking that we realized. Most Christians have the idea today that if a person is faithful to the Lord, that person will automatically be well of financially. Many often assume when they see someone poor that they have done something foolish, wrong, and sinful to get there. Here is this woman however. She is poor, and by the end of the story, completely destitute. She has nothing left. Yet, Jesus set her up as an example of righteousness and holiness. Granted, Jesus’s point is not that the poor are automatically right with God. However, I hope we will see that just because someone is so poor doesn’t mean he or she is being judged by God or deserves the situation.