Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Sunday Word 2

The comparisons among the three key figures in Sunday's pericope are striking. The religious leaders and rich givers look great on the outside -- they possess the cultural appearance of importance and standing. But their heart conditions show their true appearance to be thin and wanting.

On the other hand, a widow was a cultural outcast in those first century days. Widows shared a marginalized standing with lepers, the poor, tax collectors and prostitutes. Yet with a heart devoted fully to God, the widow has a lot to teach us. This nameless, penny-less woman without a family has become an historical metaphor for generosity, dependence, sacrifice and priority.

We may look acceptable to society or even to the Christian world, but our attitudes are the reality. Our inner motivations. What we feel. What we think but don't dare say. These all trump the outward gestures that people may observe.

Fundamentally, we Christians are not called to hoard pennies, but to give them away.