The Widow’s Mite

The other day as I was standing in the lobby of our shelter watching the residents come back from church I saw something that really touched my heart.  A young mother, with three small children, was carrying an empty shoebox to fill for the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child gift drive.  Here she is, homeless with three small children and a minimum wage job, preparing to give to someone else.  That’s the kind of generosity God is looking for.  She was willing to give out of her scarcity to someone with even less.  And she was overjoyed to give.  That’s what giving is really all about.  In Luke chapter 21, the first 4 verses is the story of the “Widow’s Mite.”  As Jesus observed the poor widow putting 2 small copper coins in the offering he said that she had given more than all the wealthy people who had given much more.

Very early in my ministry I pastored a church that used “pledge cards” completed by the members in order to plan for the following year’s budget.  (a practice I would no longer recommend today but none-the-less, one we used back then.) The deacons were assigned to go into the homes of the members and collect the cards from each family.  I went out with a very old and wise deacon as we went into the home of one of our most wealthy members. As the man of the house filled out their pledge card he quipped, “I guess I can give my widow’s mite,” to which the deacon quickly answered, “Oh, no.  You don’t have to do that.”  The member looked at him very strangely and said, “What do you mean?”  The old deacon replied, “She gave all she had and the church doesn’t expect that much from you.”

How much are you overjoyed to give?  The Bible tells us that God loves a joyful giver.  Giving to God’s church and ministries is a privilege and not a duty.  We should remember that when we are financially supporting our local churches and community ministries.