October 22, 2010

All In – poor widow’s example

Posted in Cannonball at 11:49 PM by alexlozada

How do I follow Mark 12:41-44 (same story in Luke 21:1-4)? The computer spreadsheet side of me wants to analyze the dollars and decisions: Does it mean I give the church all I have in my bank account right now, including what I was going to use to pay this month’s bills? Does it mean I stop saving for the future (daughters’ education, retirement, medical insurance coverage)? Does it mean I stop eating out – or just sometimes? Sundays after church? lunch w/w co-workers? date nights w/ my wife? What about the broadband internet access I’m using right now to post this devotional on the internet?

“everything–all she had to live on.” How much would I have to give to become completely dependent on God? I think this verse is not about dollars or spending decisions, but dependence – complete dependence on God. I confess, I’m not there, not even close – I prize my independence; even if my financial “independence” is a mirage of living paycheck to paycheck. Maybe Cannonball will move me a step towards depending on God like I never have before?

In the incident immediately before today’s story, Jesus condemns the religious leadership who take advantage of widows. Easy for me to point finger at pseudo-Christian figures who rake in donations, but I need to perpetually assess how I use my ministry resources, lest I waste them on the modern day equivalent of “flowing robes . . . the most important seats . . . the places of honor. . .”

BACKGROUND: Widows in Jesus’ time had no government-provided safety net, but were dependent on extended family, or the charity of the community – which makes this (Mark specifies “poor”) widow’s “all in” even more meaningful.

Ancient Roman lepton (penny)

Ancient Roman lepton (penny)


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