23rd FEBRUARY

Luke 21: 1 - 4

“He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.”

Yesterday we considered that a good measure in what we give makes a difference in the lives of others.  In that particular context it wasn’t just about a measure as a certain amount but as a “good measure” which conveys that sense of more than just a wee bit extra.  This leads nicely into today’s passage where Jesus watching people throw money into the Temple coffers.  The good measure in this passage is not about the amount, but the extras that lead to giving that encourages us to go the extra mile.  In other words, it is a giving that is sacrificial.  The woman gave so much less than all of the others, but she gave the most in that she sacrificed all that she had.

When it comes to giving in response to what God has done for us it involves not just a part of us but all of us:  every part of who we are and what we have.  The “offering” in the service is more than a collection or a whip round for a good cause.  It is a real giving that reflects on and responds to the sacrificial giving of our Lord himself who gave up everything for us.  His giving opened up new possibilities for us in a new life, a new way of living and a new way of giving.

When we understand this in relation to our faith then it helps us to become more aware of what God expects in our giving because it is a giving that reaches out from the very heart of who we are.  When we understand this in relation to our lives and how we interact with those around us, especially the poor, it helps us to become more aware of what it means to give.

There’s a children’s address often used when considering fair-trade.  The minister/speaker has a banana and asks if anyone wants half of it.  The hands go up and one is chosen to come out and enjoy half of the banana except that the half that they are given is not the half that they expect.  They are given the skin and the speaker gets the tasty bit inside.  Is this how we give?  Is this the kind of giving that we see when we consider our generous God?  It is far from the kind of sacrificial giving that is the essence of New Testament giving which reflects the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

  • When you give how do you give?  What does Christ’s sacrifice mean to you?  What does it mean for your giving?

Lord, you have given us more than a good measure 

in your Word and your Living Word in Jesus.

You have given everything to offer us the very best in life

and the very best of your life.

May this encourage us in our own giving as we respond to you

and where we see help and support needed around us.

In the name of Jesus.  

AMEN.