Mark 12:41-44 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.
How Much More Can I Give?
Today is the 3-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings, and since December 14th I have often thought about the victims and their families. I think of the parents of the students who had their precious young sons and daughters taken from them. I think of the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary, who gave their lives in an effort to save their students. As a father of two young children, I can’t imagine what these families went through in the days and weeks after this senseless tragedy, and continue to go through in their process of grieving, healing and adjusting to what life is now for them. God has asked a lot of these families, most notably to give their precious loved ones back to him.
During Lent we celebrate Jesus, who made the ultimate sacrifice for us, dying on the cross for our sins and rising from the dead so we can have eternal life. Our Heavenly Father has blessed my family and me tremendously, especially over the last few years, and in this special season of Lent I feel that God is asking me how I am living to glorify his name, and what I am giving back from the tremendous blessings he has given me. God has given me so much, and I don’t think he has asked much of me in return — certainly not what I’ve seen him ask of others in recent years. And I trust that God will not ask more of me than I can give.
So I ask myself, what is blocking me from giving back to God? What is keeping me from giving more in his name? Am I spending my time in ways that glorify him, or on senseless earthly pursuits? How do I use the financial blessings he has bestowed on my family and me to further his work? Am I giving as much time and money as I can to help his work be done here on earth? As I look at my calendar, my to-do lists, my hobbies and free time, as well as my bank account and PVUMC Gratitude Card, I see many opportunities for giving more for the glory of His name.
So as we look forward to the wonderful celebration of Easter, and the days, weeks and months beyond, I will continue to ask myself, “How much more can I give?”
Prayer: Dearest Heavenly Father, I thank you for the tremendous blessings you have bestowed on my family and me. Please help me to see the many opportunities I have every day to do your work, and to give to those in need in your name. I pray for the ability to trust you more and more each day, and the strength to give more from all you have given to me. I also offer a special prayer for the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings, for the first responders and all who have been affected by this senseless, heartbreaking tragedy. I ask you to continue to hold the people of Newtown in your loving arms, and to provide comfort and healing in the months and years to come. In Jesus’ name, Amen.