Readings for 24th Sunday after Pentecost

     Mark 12:38-44; Hebrews 9:24-28; 1 Kings 17:8-16

I’ve often enjoyed watching the popular Antiques Road Show on television. Mostly I enjoy the history lessons given by expert appraisers, as well as some fascinating personal stories told by the owners themselves about the objects they’ve brought in to the show. But finally it’s down to business. The question everybody wants answered: “How much is this thing actually worth??”

Sunday’s readings are about how God measures worth, and as you can probably guess, it’s not the way we think. Jesus contrasts a rich person’s offering of gold with a poor widow’s two tiny copper coins. The widow, he says, gave more because of the value -not of her coins- but of her devotion and trust in the Lord (Mark 12). Another poor widow demonstrates her priceless faith in God’s Word, and as a result, gets to experience God’s miraculous goodness in providing for her family (1 Kings 17). It turns out God cares more about the giver than the gift. (And so should we!) Finally, our epistle lesson describes the greatest and most valuable offering ever given – Christ’s own body and blood sacrificed for our sins. What looked like a tragic waste of life was actually God’s treasure uncovered before the whole human race (Heb 9).