The Widow's Offering

About a month and a half ago, we had a big leadership meeting at our church. We gathered all of our leadership (deacons, teachers, ministry leaders) together for most of the day on a Saturday (yes, coffee and donuts and lunch were provided) and, as a staff, each took turns sharing with them a little about what we do, how we do it, and where we'd like to go in 2013.

Our pastor (@EGCoakley) shared first and, what he shared was pretty powerful. And do you know why? Because he used a prop. Who knew we could learn something about preaching from Carrot Top?

As each person entered the room for the meeting, Eddie stood at the door and handed them a tiny bronze coin from a small glass bowl. The coins were so small, that you had to hold them on your finger, kind of like you do with a contact lens. No one knew what they were or what they were for. All we knew was that Eddie said not to lose them, as they were important and expensive.

Here's a pic of two of them. 
That gives you a decent idea of what I'm talking about. But how about another pic for size?

Here's the same pic, but with a Dime added for comparison. I like stating obvious things in caption form.
He went on to explain that he purchased each of these coins for around five dollars each ($5!) and that they were around 2000 years old. If he would have stopped there, my mind would have sufficiently been blown. But he didn't.

These small, bronze coins (a lepton) were the lowest, least valuable form of currency in Jesus' time. They were also what the widow in Mark 12:41-44 gave as an offering. I was holding a 2000 year old coin in my hand.

Since then, I've kept the coin. I've held it many times and reflected on how just two of these could be someone's entire savings. And how she could give them anyway. I've also thought about how tightly I hold on to the things I have. Strangely enough, I don't really struggle with giving God my money. But ask me to trust Him with my relationships? My plans? My future? That's when you'll see my grip tighten.

Jesus uses the widow's example to teach his disciples. Throughout the Gospels he can be seen taking what seemed small or insignificant, and using it to change the world. But the things he used had to be given to him.

I'm continuing to think about how that shakes out in my life. What am I holding back from Jesus that he wants to use?

What about you? What's your bronze coin?

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