Trust God with All - Weekly Reflections 11-4-15

 Texts for Sunday, November 8, 2015

1 Kings 17:8-16
Psalm 146 
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44

After moving aside for Reformation and All Saints’ Day, we are back to the Gospel of Mark for a couple of Sundays. You can tell because we are talking about the vulnerable outcasts of society. And we are challenging the status of those in power. My reflections from 9-30 to 10-21 work for today’s Gospel as well.

We have two stories of widows today.  In 1 Kings 17:8-16, the widow has resigned herself to the fact that her situation outside of society means she and her son need to just die. There is no support; no hope. Then God comes along through the prophet Elijah and invites her to trust God for life….actual life.  

We don’t much about the widow in the Mark 12:41-44
All we know is that Jesus sees her plunk all that she has into the temple offerings. It may feel more positive than deciding it is time to die, but it is ALL she has. She too just as completely must trust God for life…actual life.

And we’ve got those scribes in Mark 12:38-40. Reading Mark often provides a dilemma for me because I usually end up on the other side of the equation being a person with power and privilege and possessions. I do like to be greeted with respect and have a place honor at banquets/potlucks. And I do give out of my abundance; I am certain I do not give my all. I read a great piece on the Prison of Privilege from the Faith and Money network

You know, all those nice people putting in the nice sums out of their abundance? They don’t even see the widow. Jesus had to point her out to the disciples because she is so easily overlooked. If those nice people had seen her, what might they have done with their money instead? 

Finally, several commentaries I read for this week pointed out that this poor woman was donating to the very same system that kept her marginalized as a widow. How does that happen today?

So who would Jesus point out to us today? Who are the marginalized we marginalize or overlook? Think of ability, age, health, sexual orientation, or immigration status.

Do you trust God with your “all”? 

If Jesus were watching you, what would he say about how you show your faith through your giving and/or actions?

Check out the G.I.F.T. post for this Sunday, November 8, for more ways to reflect on these verses.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please use the comment section below.

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Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245