Thursday, 20 March 2014

Lent day 14 - it's not how much money but how much heart

[Note: I should have done this last night, but getting home at 11:50, I had to spend 1 hr playing with my 1 year old Lab!!!]

This is a very famous story (Mark 12:41-44) no doubt trotted out during that season of church where the need to give to the church is stressed. Some pastors have their own homes, others have their own jets. Scripture is clear it is ok to seek a living out of ministry, just that the sole point of ministry is not profit. Back to this shortly.

This poor widow has been famous for centuries. Anonymous and yet held up for all to read about, this woman paid the temple tax with the smallest of coins, and yet she did so out of devotion to God. She gave all she had. This really makes me think of the paying taxes to Caesar debate. She was giving to God what was his, and it was money. Because it was all she had, because her giving was costly, it was of more value than the much larger sums others were giving.

We of course need to think of the totality of our giving, our money to church, our time to 'ministry' - be that with a church, parachurch or our own opportunities to serve by sharing our faith, doing good to all (I think as much through non-Christian as Christian organisation). And we do need to think carefully and give joyously.

Joy is needed because faith is Jesus is about joy and not sorrow - not that sorrow has no place with regards our ongoing sin, or the suffering in the world - because joy characterises the new life, joy that is realistic but still joyous. And thoughtful giving because many will tell us 'you can't take it with you' or 'he who dies with the most toys wins'. Yeah we need some stuff, but we need to decouple from making things into God (this goes back to the discussion on rendering to Caesar and God, so I won't repeat myself).

So make sure you help feed the pastors who feed you (and pastors make sure you are earning your keep by feeding the flock).

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