Mark 12: 41-44
This may be a short passage, but it speaks volumes, as Jesus is sat in the Temple treasury located in the Court. Here, men and women could mix, but the women were not allowed to go any further. The treasury contained some 13 receptacles for money, and Mark notes that many of the rich were making a big show of placing money in the coffers so others saw what they were doing.
Then along comes this lady and places two small copper coins – the smallest in circulation in Palestine at the time – into the collection. Mark records Jesus as saying to his disciples ‘some gave of their wealth; she gave from her poverty’ and began his remark with ‘I tell you the truth’, an expression he used often to strengthen his statements.
This passage reminds me of the time I was in Sector Ministry; we ran a Homelessness project which had a food store attached to our office for use with homeless young people. Many people supported our work, including some big companies and a little lady in her 80s. When this lady went to collect her pension, the first stop on her way home was our office, and she would give us £5 towards food for our young people. That was in 1993, when her Pension was £56 per week. So it was, for her, a significant sum.
We are reminded to continue to give, even in these times of tight budgets and difficult days. To remember the widow’s mite and the lady in the 1990s. And to seriously think of those who have less than us, especially at this special time of year.
Revd. Chris Cheeseman
as we bow before the crib and celebrate your coming to earth for us,
let us be mindful of the needs of many in this city of Manchester and,
where we can, let us support the work of those on the frontline,
working with homeless and roofless people. Amen.