Friday, December 03, 2010

Day 6 of Advent - "The crazy abundance of God"

Day 6 of Advent

Psalm 16
Psalm 17
Isa. 3:8-15
1 Thess. 4:1-12
Luke 20:41-21:4
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"The crazy abundance of God"

In today's reading from Luke's gospel, Jesus admonishes the rich, who destroy people through oppression and exploitation, and he notices that a poor widow contributes out of her poverty, rather than her abundance.  The poor widow puts two small copper coins into the treasury of the Temple, and though she does not have much, she gives it all back to God.  The model of giving is a steep one to emulate, but when we realize that all that we are, and all that we have, is dependent upon God, we might get to that place where we could give not only out of our abundance, but out of our poverty.  

When times are good, we might imagine giving more of our time, our talent, and our treasure.  When our family is relatively healthy, when we have work, when we have some extra time and cash, we might offer a bit of what we have back to God, and to community organizations.  However, the real giving happens when we also give from our poverty.  Where are we poor?  Where is our poverty?  What would it look like to give our time away, even when we are very busy.  What would it look like to give our presence and our compassion to others in need, even when we are going through a tough time personally?  What would it look like to find ways to give what we have away, even when we are struggling with our own finances?  

We may never be able to fully emulate this poor widow, but true joy may be found where we recognize that all we are, and all we have is from God, and that we can give, even when we don't feel a sense of abundance.  For the abundance of God comes in unexpected and crazy ways - have you read the parables?  Have you read the ways that Jesus, himself, embodied crazy ways of showing the abundance of God?  

As we await the crazy and unexpected way that God came into the world, consider giving from your own poverty, and experience the amazing and crazy abundance of God.

~The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Luke 21:1-4
He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; 2 he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 He said, 'Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; 4 for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.'

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