Jesus said, “Beware of the scribes… who devour widows’ houses…
… 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.
… Do you see these great buildings?
Not one stone will be left here upon another;
all will be thrown down.”
Preachers like to use the story of the widow’s mite
as a tale of generosity:
“See, you should give everything to the church!”
Yes… but. Notice how the story is situated.
It’s not just about the widow.
It’s about the powerful who abuse the poor.
And Jesus’ judgment of power structures:
“It’s all coming down.”
The story is about the contrast
between generosity and greed,
between love and fear,
and which side God is on.
It’s about the choice you must always make.
Tomorrow those of you in the US will go out and vote.
You will choose between love and fear.
(And yes, non-voters, to stay silent
is to continue the widow’s oppression.)
All of us will go out and make choices today.
The choice will always be between love and fear.
Generosity or greed. Welcome or refusal.
Sharing or selfishness. Reconciliation or blame.
Jesus calls us to judge ourselves.
The contrast is stark.
Do you live by love or fear? Choose.
Then put in everything you have,
all you have to live on.
—November 5, 2018