Let’s not hold back

Mar 5, 2020

I have some very old coins at home, some denarii and some lepta. A denarius was worth roughly a day’s wage and a lepton (known also as the widow’s mite) was worth a few minute’s works. Both of these types of coins were in circulation in Judea during Jesus’ ministry. I love these coins because they remind me of the radical truths that Jesus taught.

Jesus once observed people giving money at the temple treasury. Many rich people gave large amounts. But a poor widow gave only two small coins (lepta). Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you; this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

We easily forget the overwhelming generosity that God has shown us in Jesus. God didn’t hold back.

The widow’s example was staggering and incredibly intimidating. Does following Jesus mean we also have to give away everything? Probably a better way of understanding this is that she trusted God with everything. She didn’t hold back.

As C.S. Lewis said, many of us relate to God and what he gives us, like we relate to paying taxes. We pay what we feel obliged to give, but all the while hope that there’s enough left to do with what we want. We easily forget the overwhelming generosity that God has shown us in Jesus. God didn’t hold back.

What does this mean for us? We need to constantly challenge ourselves to exercise both trust and generosity. In the anxious and uncertain times we’re going through, we might feel inclined to hold back: to stockpile household necessities meaning others are deprived; to minimise social contact to safeguard from infection; to be less inclined towards patience with people because we’re more stressed than normal.

Instead, let’s exercise intentional generosity. When you can’t meet with people, give someone a call and ask how you can pray for them. When someone has offended you, exercise grace and patience. When you’ve been in a habit of financially giving to God’s work, make sure you continue that commitment. When you hear of a need in the community around you, figure out how you can meet it.

Remember God’s generosity to us. Let’s not hold back.

Alex McCoy
Vicar

Latest stories

Does the coronavirus wear the crown?

  A few weeks ago many of us would have had hopes that the threat of COVID-19 was almost over. Maybe you thought, “The infection rate in HK is low. Things appear to be under control. The precautions will soon be lifted.” How circumstances have quickly changed. The...

read more

Sharing your hope during COVID-19

  A friend recently shared, “It feels weird to love people by distancing oneself from them physically”. The precautions against COVID-19 are necessary, but our physical disconnection can make it seem more difficult to love people. In particular, it may feel more...

read more

You need this more than you realise

  For most of us, the coronavirus has changed how we do life. Maybe you’re working from home. We keep physical distance from people – no handshakes, no hugs. Wearing masks means we don’t see each other smile. You’re not going out as much to restaurants or malls....

read more