Gifts and offerings are very different.
- Gifts come from our of wealth. “How much can we afford to spend on Christmas presents this year?”
- Offerings share our feelings of gratitude. “WOW! I get paid for doing this! I want someone to share in my happiness!”
In the story of the widow’s mite, Jesus and his disciples are watching people deposit their gifts and offerings into the temple treasury. Scholars describe this treasury as an inverted trumpet designed to prevent theft. The gifts of the wealthy, several large coins, would have rattled noisily as they bounced down the throat and into the treasury. The widow’s two coins, 1/64 of a typical day laborer’s daily wage, about a $1 in today currency, would have made only a think clink. What might have happened in the widow’s life to merit offering all that she had to the temple?
What has happened in your life recently to merit offering part of your income to furthering God’s work in the world?
Happy are generous people
when they share some of their food with the poor.
— Proverbs 22:9
I will have more to say about Luke 21:1-4 on Sunday, November 15th, at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.