The Widow’s Offering
21 Jesus looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; 2 he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 He said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; 4 for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”
The Destruction of the Temple Foretold
5 When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, 6 “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.”
This short reading, which is placed just before Jesus shares the Last Supper with his friends, gives us two important things to think about, as we look towards the events of Easter. One is about the importance of generosity, and the other is about the temporary nature of some of the things we hold to be sacred.
The story of the widow’s mite is one which is a challenge to us all. I have to say, that I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of those in our own community who have given to the Foodbank in recent days. It is a tribute to the strength of community here that so many have given when it is not an easy time to get everything we need even for ourselves. But although this short passage is a challenge to generosity, it is also an image of God’s generosity to us. In Jesus, God holds nothing of himself back, sacrificing everything to reconcile us to himself.
God’s generosity is bigger than we can imagine – bigger even than our Church buildings and our Church structures. Jesus is telling his disciples that losing their temple may feel like a catastrophe, but it will not change the unending love and presence of God. This year we are reminded of that in a very powerful way. Our worship is very different, but it is worship nevertheless. God is not confined to our buildings – his generous love is present in each of our hearts – and it is in our hearts that the truest worship takes place.
Let us pray…
Lord our God,
We thank you that in tiny acts of generosity your Kingdom is grown.
We thank you that your Spirit is not confined to a building
but is abroad in all of creation and especially within our hearts.
Bless us and whatever our present circumstances,
help us to worship you in spirit and in truth this Holy Week.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord,