Knee Jerk Devotional: December 4, 2020

Luke 20:41-21:4

Passage:

Then Jesus said to them, “Why is it said that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself declares in the Book of Psalms:

“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”’

David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”

While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Here’s a secret inside scoop on how these little devotionals get created: Some mornings after reading the passage I know exactly what I want to write but then I force myself to walk away. Why? Because what I want to write will take more than just a few paragraphs. Also? Because what I want to write may hurt folks. This morning was one of those mornings. I read the passage and was ready to write a missive, but walked away for a moment. I’m ready now with clarity.

This poor widow has put in more than all the others.

Do you watch Doctor Who? I do, I love it. It’s a science fiction show from the BBC. It’s been on television for a long, long time. When I was a child it was a black and white show on Saturdays that I wanted to get over with, to get to the good cartoons. But, now that I’m an adult, I rediscovered it and am fascinated by the whole concept. The Doctor fights a “baddy” of the week with her companions and typically saves the universe. The thing with Doctor Who is that it’s a time travel show and it turns things up on their ears.

Probably my favorite part about the series is that nothing is as it seems. The Doctor is rather unassuming and doesn’t appear to be a hero. The Doctor’s companions are just normal everyday folks too. They are just people who are willing to see something different in the world (and universe). The Doctor’s vessel is called the TARDIS which stands for: Time And Relative Dimension In Space. It’s just a blue police box from England.

Until you walk inside.

The running gag is that the TARDIS is bigger on the inside. You enter into the police box and inside you find a giant space ship/time machine. It’s amazing. When companions enter it for the first time it’s like they’re seeing a Major League Baseball field after only seeing it on television.

Things are not what they seem in the world of the Doctor.

For Jesus, things are not always what they seem either. Sometimes the smallest amount is the biggest. Jesus has a different perspective on reality than we do. We think that to do the things that Jesus calls us to, we need huge amounts of faith, Jesus says all we need is a mustard seed’s worth. We think that to make a difference in our giving we need to give lots, Jesus says two copper coins will do.

Wait…what?

Two copper coins is more than the huge sums that others were giving?

Yes, because the Widow gave all she had.

The thing with Jesus is that he’s about stuff that you can’t see. He’s about the heart and the soul of a thing. He wants and needs people to understand that there is more going on in our reality than just what we see.

As we live our lives we can choose to give of ourselves. We can choose to live lives of sacrifice and love as a reflection of our love for God. We can make decisions that allow us to give our two copper coins or we can choose to only give out of our abundance.

The question for each of us is this: Where are we holding back? In what ways are we not giving out of our poverty?

Again too often we only think in simplistic terms. Most of you are right now thinking only about giving with money. There’s more to see. We give our time, talent, presence, attention, and in a myriad of other ways.

When we start talking about giving in Jesus’ economy it’s like a TARDIS. It’s bigger on the inside.

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