Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Widow's Mite

"This poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury." Mk 12:43

It is easy to forget that there were no supermarkets in the ancient world, no place to shop and buy supplies for a week or more. The people of Jesus' day would have used whatever they had on hand to prepare a simple meal and may have gone to a small, local shop for barley, oil and the like. All of this to say that the poor widow is most probably giving the money she would use for an evening meal into the temple baskets, preferring to honor God and support the priests and temple personnel rather than eat herself.  Her sacrifice is deep, and makes a lasting impression on everyone who reads about her.

Two matters emerge for us in the modern world. While it is rare in the United States that people have nothing to eat on a daily basis, there are very hungry people here. More than 50 million Americans do not have adequate food each day, and most of them are children and seniors.

Just as important, more than 2 billion people in the world do not eat enough nutrient food each day and even worse, they have what scientists call, "food insecurity."  They may eat today but are not sure they have the resources to eat tomorrow or next week. The stress this kind of living creates can be overwhelming.

Nevertheless, despite their own hunger, the poor are often generous and giving. More, they have faith that moves mountains. Unlike some of us who blame God for every difficult turn our life takes, the hungry continue to pray, worship and offer service to those more needy than themselves, and in this they are examples for the rest of us.

Today give from your substance.

Who has most impressed you because of their generosity?

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