URC Daily Devotion Wednesday 13th March 2024

St Mark 12: 41 – 44

He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then 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. For 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.’

Reflection

There was a time when watching the news was a life imperative, a way of keeping informed, even fuel for prayer. Recently, I find it near impossible to watch. My mind switches off, or my finger changes the channel. My soul is overwhelmed by the images of those facing devastation, of those experiencing our collective lack of humanity. 

When I close my eyes I see an amalgam of the grief, confusion, and terror of those caught up in suffering. I don’t want to look or be reminded of their pain, or confronted with my uncertainty on how to respond, my fear that I don’t have the resources to help. And maybe even my apathy? But the Scriptures encourage us to look, remind us of the human need of others, even though it may be painful. 

The story of the widow’s mite may be one such confrontation, right in the centre of our most sacred spaces. Sometimes she is seen as a trumpeter of faith – to give more, do more, be more; calling us to give up everything for our ideals. But what if she is a protester, a confronter, a confounder, a troublemaker? The woman has very little, just a few coins. Yet she publicly stands in the temple and gives them away. Now she has nothing. How will she eat, or provide for her?

According to the Scriptures, the community of faith should do this. She knows that and the people know that. But maybe like me, they did not want to see the human need in front of them. So, she pokes and prods, irritating our consciences, reminds us of her humanity, and in doing so, gives much more to the temple than those with bulging wallets. This woman is a living parable, wisdom calling out to all who would listen. 

Prayer

Find a quiet place.

Be mindful that God is love and seeks the good of all.

Take a few deep breaths to settle yourself. 

Imagine you encounter the woman in the temple – what does she say to you or ask of you?

Take a few deep breaths to draw yourself out of prayer.

Be mindful that God is love and seeks the good of all.

Take any action emerging from your prayer.

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