“Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all.” — Luke 21:3
How common, yet almost damnable, it is for us to measure giving by the scale of this world. In the church today, sadly it is one of the main yardsticks by which congregants are classified in rank – rather than their lives against the standard of Christ and the Scripture. Yet what do we discover in Christ’s observation? The widow gave more in the little that she gave, because she gave her all. The Temple was magnificent and majestic, it required vast sums and succour to maintain it. Of what value would the two mites have contributed? In the Temple’s economy of scale the answer is Nothing, yet in God’s eyes, the value was priceless. Many may argue that all the small bits add up – such as the saying, “Save the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.” Indeed, this in itself may be factual and true, yet we miss the principle. Is God pleased with the large sums of money given by the wealthy? I would not venture to say that He is not, but I will venture to say that He is not impressed by it. Does God need your money to keep the Temple going? Does He need your giving to maintain His Kingdom? Let’s reflect for a moment: when Jesus paid the temple tax, he obtained the money from the mouth of a fish. When the disciples had yielded no return for their night’s fishing efforts, Christ counselled them to cast their net on the other side of the boat, and they could not contain the harvest. With a couple of fish and five loaves of bread, our Lord fed 5000 men – with twelve basketfuls of leftovers. With seven loaves and a few small fish, our Redeemer satisfied and stilled the hunger of 4000 men – with seven basketfuls of leftovers. Our God would not tell us if He was hungry, for He owns all the cattle on a thousand hills. The earth is His, and all that is in it. The world is His, and all who dwell in it. Here is the crux of the matter: sacrifice and offerings God did not require … I said, here I am, I have come to do your will. It is possible for God to do more with the poor widow’s two mites than with the rich man’s 200 gold coins. For the widow to have done what she did, her heart was surrendered to God her Lord. What God valued most was that she had given of herself. This is what God desires most: the surrender of ourselves – what we are, what we represent, and what we have – to His Lordship and control. Let us take from the widow and bring ourselves into balance, for our Lord deserves our all. When we are unwisely impressed with our own giving, or that of another’s, let us immediately stop and remember the widow. Let us honour the Lord with the first fruits of our labour, and give thanks to God for those who do, but in our quiet giving, walk and way, may the Lord our God of us be pleased to say, She has cast in more than they all.