Sunday, April 22, 2007

A million-dollar donation! Wow! Or not.

Some years ago, I heard a sermon about giving where the teacher asked who would be impressed by a million-dollar donation (to the church, to missions, to the poor, whatever). Well, I would be. That's a lot of money.

He made the point that Jesus wouldn't necessarily be impressed with that, citing this from today's New Testament reading.
1As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3"I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."
Luke 21:1-3
God isn't impressed with the things that tend to impress us. Or, more aptly, it's interesting to note that the things that are truly impressive (according to him) don't impress us. Well, that's not so surprising I guess; we tend to look at the external appearance whereas God looks at the heart.

When I think about "the widow's mite," as some say, my tendency is to feel like a wimp when it comes to giving. I don't give even half of my income (or of my wealth) to God's work, let alone "all that she had to live on."

Well, there's no profit in comparing, is there? I think that the real takeaway here is -- or should be -- "Don't be overly impressed by things that don't impress God," rather than some kind of comparison with someone else (a tycoon, an impoverished widow).

And probably that applies outside of finance: in faith, in service, or in the outward appearance of spirituality -- not to be overly impressed, not to compare, but to try to see the world as the Lord does.

And to follow him in the ways he's called me, and enjoy his presence and his loving acceptance.

May he so help us.

posted 4/23

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