Blogging the Bible 265 – Mark 12:35-13:37 – Show and substance

It’s interesting (and I hadn’t noticed before) that just before Jesus contrasts spiritual behaviour done to impress with that done to serve, he writes of how the Son of David (presumed to be less than David) can be also David’s Lord.
Then we have the contrast of the scribes, loving the reputation of holiness and praying for show, and the poor widow. She comes to the Temple quietly, adding to the gold which had been publicly given by the rich just a couple of copper coins. Yet Jesus said that her gift was greater than the piles of gold, because it was more of a cost to her.
I’ve often been struck by the fact that in the face of need, generosity has more to do with character than with wealth. A few years ago our church needed to raise over £120,000 to repair our historic building and convert a disused library into a church and community centre. We’re in an area where there’s not much money about, but many people gave generously; including our local Sikh Temple, who gave £500! The two people who each handed me an envelope containing £1000 in cash, though, asking that the donation be kept quiet, were both retired and on fixed incomes. Their commitment to the project and their faith in what it could become were a great encouragement – and having been reminded of them by this reading I’ve just posted for then both with thanks!
I’ve also been reminded of why we raised all that money, and that there’s still work to do to make the best use of the centre their generosity helped us to create.

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