Last week the assigned gospel text was a very familiar story; Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. In the sermon I talked about how we often get so caught up in the story itself that we miss the importance of the accompanying details in the story. It was in the accompanying details that we heard the still speaking voice of God and the call to “Find ministry in a miracle.”
This week the assigned gospel text offers us another very familiar story, “The Widow’s Mite.” Once again we are confronted with a story where it’s important to look past the story itself to the accompanying details. In this instance we find the still speaking voice of God instructing us on the right motivation on giving, using a widow’s generosity. The motivation is the key to the generosity itself.
I ran across an advertisement that read: “Now you too can own a Genuine Coin From the Time of Jesus: The Widow’s Mite. It’s a minor miracle that this coin has survived and now people of faith can study, cherish, and protect it for future generations. It’s yet another miracle that they’re so affordable.” Then, the ad goes on to quote the Scripture from the Bible telling of this very familiar story, and adds, “While our limited supplies last, you may order the 2,000 year old Widow’s Mite for only $39.95 plus shipping and handling. Remember this is the genuine coin mentioned in the Holy Bible and it makes a perfect gift for your child, grandchild, or favorite clergyman.”
The advertisement makes it sound like you would be buying the actual coin the widow dropped into the receptacle. Of course, you are not. I actually own a “mite” from that era given to me by the Treasurer at Covenant, purchased off Ebay; but I’m under no illusion that it was “The Widow’s Mite.” I doubt that coin actually still exists and if it did, it would be very hard for you or me to actually purchase it.
Harder still is the ability to purchase the widow’s attitude and motivation for such generosity of giving which is of greater value in today’s market. But perhaps we can learn how to acquire such motivation by looking at the accompanying details of this very familiar story.
So, join us in worship this Sunday at Covenant. Like last week, I will once again attempt to look past the very familiar story itself to concentrate on the accompanying details of it so that we might hear the still speaking voice of God on “The Motivation for Giving from A Widow.” The scriptural text for this sermon is “Mark 12:41-44.”