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.” (Luke 21:1-4)
The Temple EmanuEl in New York city charged $3,000 for a seat at the temple for their New Year’s celebration with their “Pay to Pray” policy. Most temples charge dues for a seat at the temple, although some temples have a section at the back of the temple for those who can’t afford to pay. I don’t imagine it’s an honor to sit in those seats, though.
In Jesus’ time it was an honor to work at the temple and repair it when needed, so offerings weren’t required for salaries and upkeep. Offerings went to the poor. Today our churches and temples are businesses. Little of our “gifts” put in the plates go toward God’s work.
By trusting God to provide for her, the poor widow gave everything she had to God. It was an act of love. God wants to know we love Him, too. He loves our gifts of planted flowers and trees and cooking with savory spices in His name. The Holy Spirit loves living in a clean house, so we can do that in God’s name also. It is especially important to remember God in theses way since our churches and temples have become businesses and most of us give to charities from money we don’t need to live on.
Father God, as I cook, clean, plant, or organize today, I do it for you Lord because I love You and Your Holy Spirit. As I love you and soak in Your love at home today, let me pass on that love to others in the community tomorrow. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, amen.