Summary: A sermon for the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost Proper 27 The Widow’s Mite
22nd Sunday after Pentecost
Mark 12: 38-44
8 ¶ Then the word of the LORD came to him,
9 "Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you."
10 So he arose and went to Zarephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, "Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink."
11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, "Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand."
12 And she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a cruse; and now, I am gathering a couple of sticks, that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die."
13 And Elijah said to her, "Fear not; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make for yourself and your son.
14 For thus says the LORD the God of Israel, ’The jar of meal shall not be spent, and the cruse of oil shall not fail, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’"
15 And she went and did as Elijah said; and she, and he, and her household ate for many days.
16 The jar of meal was not spent, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD which he spoke by Elijah.RSV
38 And in his teaching he said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and to have salutations in the market places
39 and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,
40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation."
41 ¶ And he sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums.
42 And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny.
43 And he called his disciples to him, and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.
44 For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living."RSV
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
A modern parable: "Once upon a time, a pig and a chicken were walking down a village street. They came upon a church sign which was advertising a bazaar and breakfast which was going to be held in a few days.
At the bottom of the sign the menu was given, it read ’Ham and eggs will be served from 6:30 to 8:00 am.’ The chicken turned to the pig and said, "See!!’ Even we can help the work of the church!!!"
"Yes," said the pig, "but yours is only a contribution, mine is a SACRIFICE."
Now for a story in a serious vein, " Two wealthy Christian a lawyer and a merchant joined a party that was going around the world. Their pastor asked them to take pictures of any thing which they thought was unusual.
In Korea, as they were traveling, they saw in a field a boy pulling a crude plow, while an old man held in his hands the handles.. The lawyer was amused, and took a picture.
Commenting to the guide, he said,"That is an unusual sight. I suppose they are very poor."
"Yes," came the answer. "They are poor, that is the family of Chi Noui. When the church was being built in this area they were excited to give something to help it along, but they had no money so they sold their only ox and gave the money to the church. This spring they are taking turns pulling the plow themselves."
The lawyer said thoughtfully, "That must have been a real sacrifice "
The guide said, "They did not call it that." They thought it was fortunate they had an ox to sell.".
The lawyer was real quiet after that event. When they reached home, the lawyer took the picture to the pastor. As he sat down in the pastor’s study he said forcefully,"I want to double my pledge to the church. And please give me some plow work to do. I have never known what sacrifice for the church meant. A converted Korean taught me. I am ashamed to say I have never yet given anything to my church that cost me anything."