Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet 4 December 2022
Our pup’s most treasured possession is a rubber ball, a bit bigger than a tennis ball. She carries it around in her mouth, plays with it in the garden, puts it carefully on her bed or in her crate. Often, she lets it roll somewhere inaccessible to her, like under our bed or a sideboard. Other times, she forgets where she’s left it. But when I get a text from Leisa saying that she’s on her way home from JCU, and I tell Maudie that “Grimble’s coming, find your ball!” she miraculously finds and retrieves it, and waits at the door, ball in mouth, to present as a gift to her human.
OK, she’s a dog, she can’t slope off to Myer’s perfume counter and ask, “Wotcha recommend for the human who’s got everything?” But you get the idea. She offers what is most precious to her, to her precious human.
Mark 12 and Luke 21 carry the story of the widow’s mite, a tiny sum, approximately six minutes worth of a daily wage at the time. But it was everything to her, it might have been all that kept her from going hungry. Jesus contrasts her over-generosity of spirit with rich people who gave what they could easily afford.
I don’t think that the lesson concerns financial giving, or certainly not only financial giving. St Paul writes that God has given lots of gifts to all of us, gifts of talent, skill, personality. They’re all different, he says. But they’re all valuable, the introvert’s mite is as precious to God as the extrovert’s exuberance.
You want to know what giving the most precious thing you possess is like? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” Ah, you respond, I can’t compete with that.
We’ll soon be singing, In the Bleak Midwinter” (or I will, if only to remind myself what it’s like to not be perspiring 😊 ). Here’s the last verse:
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man, I would do my part,
Yet what I can, I give him,
Give my heart.