All She Had To Give

Scripture selection: Luke 21:1

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.”

Toward the end of Jesus’ earthly life he taught many things.  But he wasn’t the only one doing some teaching.

Take this poor widow for example.

Surrounded by all the pretentious, self-serving, self-righteous types – who liked to give their gifts out of their wealth – so they looked good – came this one solitary teacher.

She taught volumes about true devotion; true faith.

Jesus didn’t need to preach a stewardship sermon.

He didn’t need to shake his finger at the people, warning them of how their greed would one day do them in.

He didn’t even need to pass an offering plate.

He just pointed at this one, dear old woman and said in essence, “learn to live like her.”

Two thousand years later we still remember her and still honor her.

She is still teaching us about stewardship.

Most of all, she is still teaching us about how we are to love God.

We are to love God – with reckless abandon – just like God loves us.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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