Mark 12: 38-44 (NRSV)
Verse 38As he taught, he said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, Verse 39and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! Verse 40They devour widows' houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation."
Verse 41He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. Verse 42A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Verse 43Then he called his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. Verse 44For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."
We have been talking about faith and hope this week. Both the woman who put the last bit of her money into the temple treasury and the widow of Zarephath are excellent examples of faith and hope. How often have we heard this story in the Gospel of Mark, and then increased our weekly contribution a few dollars? What this woman did seems to us a leap of faith—a giant mighty leap—and we do not know what happened to her after that. We also are asked to take leaps of faith in our lives, sometimes with our money, sometimes with other parts of our lives. Likewise, we often do not know whether our contribution or our actions were beneficial to others or not. Or we may only find out years later. That is also faith and hope. Hope that we were able to help and faith that it was the right thing to do at the right time.
Dear Lord, give us the faith to live with confidence that you are always with us and always will be. Amen.