Last Sunday a key aspect of the sermon preached from Luke 12 centred on realising that the way to smash tight-fisted greed is to connect afresh to the sacrificial work of Christ who gave up his treasure in heaven so that we might be the treasure in his hand. When we are captivated by the extent to which Jesus went to in order to save us, how could we NOT generously give so that other might live.
When I was researching for my Masters degree, I had to undertake extended periods of ‘participant observation’. I remember early in the experience, the lecturer took us to a local pub and asked us to become part of what was happening and in the process observe and record for future analysis. That’s a tall ask for someone who does not drink alcohol, and an even great task for someone who could count the number of times he had previously been into a pub on the hand of a chippy who had lost a finger in a drop saw accident; what does one actually DO in a pub other than drink?
In today's devotional passage from Marks gospel, Jesus is sitting on a bench in the court of women and he calls his disciples over to sit with him and do some last minute participant observation. In but a few days, Jesus will go to the cross and die for the salvation of the world. He will give his all for the sake of God’s redemptive purpose. So Jesus draws o the attention of the disciples, not the rich giving their large amounts but the poor widow who gave her all; yes, she gave all she had, such was her gratitude and devotion to God. One commentator writes with respect to this incredibly generous act, “the means of the giver and the motive are the measure of true generosity.” This past week we have been focusing on “greed as Idolatry” and we have been confronted with the challenge of living life with a heart that is just like the widows heart – a heart that is orientated on the mission of God.