The race was on.
The collection plates had been passed, and the money gathered-up.
It was now our job to count it as quickly as possible. If we succeeded, the offering would be totaled and the deposit prepared before the worship service finished. If not, three families would graciously wait on us to go to lunch, and we would suffer the worst insult of all – the Baptists would beat us to the restaurants.
One pile for the checks which were quickly copied and totaled. Another pile for the dollar bills. Lot’s of $1’s – they go here. The $20’s go there. Where are the $5’s and $10’s? Oh look, we got a few $100’s. Finally, we start on the coins. Since most adults use paper or plastic, we knew the coins were from the kids. Pennies. Nickels. Dimes. Quarters. Wait, what’s this? A golden dollar? No something else.
A game token from Chuck E. Cheese pizza.
At first, we laughed. Then, the three of us stopped and looked at it again, and at each other. The significance of the “gift” caused us to reflect on the moment.
Some child had given everything they had.
The child had probably been invited to a friend’s party, and had been given a cup full of tokens. Then, he or she would have played the games hoping to win enough tickets for a prize.
But one token – a token of celebration, friendship, and care-free excitement – had been saved.
And today, this childish token of love was given as a heavenly sacrifice.
Jesus recognized another person just like this child. A poor widow at the temple gave the only two small copper coins she had as her offering. Jesus noticed that she willingly gave from what she had. Here gift was not from some duty or obligation, but from the heart.
I humbly redeemed the token, and we solemnly finished our task.
I learned an important lesson that day. What matters is not the size of the gift, but the size of the heart that gives.
And in case I forget, I still have a Chuck E. Cheese token to remind me.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank-you for the countless blessings you have poured out upon me. Thank-you for giving me a generous heart so that I may share these blessings with others and bring glory to You and Your heavenly kingdom. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Wikipedia: Lesson of the widow’s mite
The story of the widow’s mite is told in:
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, 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.”
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.”
It is speculated that the idiomatic expressions “my two cents” or “put my two cents in” is derived from this story of the poor widow.
The coins used by the poor widow were the smallest and least valuable coins in circulation, a lepton.
- Pray 4 A Generous Heart
- The Pray 4·40 List
- Lesson of the widow’s mite
- Mark 12:41-44
- Luke 21:1-4
Copyright © 2015 by Reece B. Morrel, Jr. All rights reserved worldwide.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
Notes on Pray 4 A Generous Heart: