Mark 12:14-44 verse 42 – A poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
I recently spoke to a widow and a widower, both of whom lost their spouse after 60 years of marriage. The loneliness and loss were almost palpable as I spoke with each of them. One only needs to spend a little bit of time with orphaned children to understand just how lonely they are deep down inside. It is no wonder that Jesus had a special place in his heart for widows and orphans. It was not just because the Law of Moses commanded that they be protected, but because he himself is the God who loves them and commanded Israel to love them. Deuteronomy 10:17-19 says, “The Lord your God … shows no partiality. . . . He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”
Israel was prone to forget that at one time they had been at the mercy of slave drivers, with no rights guaranteed by law. Even today it is possible to forget what it was like for our ancestors, like my own parents, to be immigrants with a shaky knowledge of English. What an amazing gift when there was someone who could sponsor them and help them get started in a new land.
Most sociologists would say that we have made enormous strides through the centuries in broadening the base of prosperity. Yet Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you” (Matthew 26:11). Despite all of our progress by communities and governments to separate the lower class, the poor are always among us. And individual love and generosity will never be out of place. And that place is where the heart of Jesus needs to be expressed by Jesus’ followers.
Is your heart expressing the heart of God for the widow, the orphan; how about the foreigners among you?
O God, thank you for your many blessings. Help us to be a blessing to people who are in need. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.