Giving Our All

Theme: Giving God our all - Proper 27(32) Yr. B, Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Object: An offering plate and bills and coins in various denominations
Scripture: Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything--all she had to live on." Mark 12:43-44 (NIV)

Every week we take an offering during the worship service. As you know, the ushers walk up and down the aisles and pass the offering plate down each and every row. People place their offerings to God in the plate. When they have finished passing the offering plate, it may look like this one that I have with me this morning. Here is a twenty dollar bill, and a ten. Here is a five and there are a lot of one dollar bills. Down in the bottom of the plate there are even some coins, Look, someone even put in some pennies.

Who do you think gave the most? Was it the person who put in the twenty dollar bill? The ten? The five? We can be sure it wasn't the one who put in the pennies, can't we?

One day, Jesus went to the synagogue. He sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the people as they put their money in the treasury. Many of them were very rich and put in large sums of money. A poor widow came by and put in two small copper coins which were worth a penny. Jesus called is disciples to him and said to them, "This poor widow has put in more than all those who are giving to the treasury. They gave out of their wealth, but she gave all that she had."

I heard a story about a little boy who went into a church one Sunday morning to get out of the cold. He had been trying to sell newspapers, but not a single customer had passed by. He entered the church, hoping to pass an hour unnoticed on the back row. The preacher delivered a powerful sermon about Jesus and his love for us. At the end of the service, they took an offering.

The ushers went from row to row until, finally, one came near to the little newspaper boy. He stopped right in front of the little boy and held out the offering plate. The boy stared at the offering plate, and after a long pause, he asked the usher to place the offering plate on the floor. Then the little boy did something very unusual. He stepped into the offering plate -- first one foot and then the other. He slowly looked up with tears streaming down his cheeks and said, “Mister, I don’t have any money; I haven’t sold a single newspaper today, but if Jesus did all that preacher said he did just for me, I will gladly give my life to Him.”

I don't know if that story is true, but I do know that God wants us to give him our all -- our hands, our feet, our hearts, our voices, our silver and our gold. Remember these pennies in the offering plate? Maybe they were the greatest gift given after all.

Dear Father, like the widow, we desire to give all that we have to you. For all that we have comes from you. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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