Then Christ talks about money. Which is certainly something that we don’t like to talk about very often. It tends to conjure up images of sweaty guys in white suits telling us that we need to give God a “seed” and that will fix all our problems. But Jesus thought it was a very important topic. During his ministry, Jesus talked most about the Kingdom of God. His second most popular topic was money. He spoke on money more than he did heaven and hell combined. 11 of the 39 parables hi gave us talk about money. In the Gospel of Luke, 1 of every 7 verses deals with money. All that must mean something.
It’s pretty interesting to me that Christ purposefully sat down in the temple to watch what people gave. He watches many rich people come by and put in some very large sums of money (which is certainly better than them putting in tiny amounts, I suppose). But after they have gone, a widow puts in about a penny. Just a penny. I think that while this story is about money, it is mainly about what God finds to be important. It wasn’t the amount that was given. That didn’t seem to matter much to Christ at all.
He talks to his disciples about people giving out of their surplus. This is a tricky one because to be honest, this both looks great and feels great. We go to great lengths to commend people like the owner of a certain fast food chain that gives 90% of his money as an offering. That seems pretty impressive and I would certainly feel a lot better about myself if I did that with each of my paychecks. But the old widow gave out of her poverty. This is different. This not only looks bad, it tends to feel inadequate. Imagine following a group of people to the front of the church, each one placing thousands of dollars in the offering and when it gets to be your turn, you drop in a nickel, in view of all those there.
And this is where we get to decide what is important to us. What do we think that we own? Isn’t all of it God’s? We are called to be stewards and stewards do not own what they have been charged to watch. I think it can be very scary to live life giving out of poverty. Especially with everyone looking. But we know one who looks with purpose and intently. He knows how to bless though who do.