(By Rachel Holmes)
“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, ‘Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on’” (Luke 21:1–4).
Clink, clink. All that she had. Did she go home hungry that night? She gave all she had to live on. “More than the rest,” He mused. His heart was warmed. When nobody else knew, God knew. He took joy from her gift. Maybe she never felt the results of her gift until she passed through death and learned that God himself was sitting there, quietly watching the whole time. In light of eternity, by heaven’s accounts, her tiny gift was worth “more than all” of the rest.
The Jesus who sat and quietly watched the widow, quietly watches us too. He, Himself, was the Father’s gift. He knew what a staggering cost it would be. She gave all she had to live on, but God gave His holy, priceless Son. The Son gave Himself. When the Father sent the Son into this world, there was no welcome. There was no clanging of the coins for the rich to notice and admire when the babe was placed quietly in Mary’s arms. The manger was a meager offering box for the Almighty’s gift for all mankind.
Like the poor widow, the Father was giving everything. “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son." But unlike the widow, He had much more to give. Heaven was drained of the Light of the Son, He was on earth, and day by day He would walk closer to that dark hill of Calvary. The Son was given to be born, given to die, and gave Himself to be the greatest of all gifts. The gift that paid the awful price of sin -- my sin.
The story of Christmas is the story of the staggering gift of God. The rich gave out of their abundance, little; but the widow out of her little, abundance. And God gave out of His abundance, everything.
Lord, open my eyes to see my life through heaven’s accounting. Help me remember that You see every mite I give, and the attitude of the heart that gives it. That the events of my life are not isolated, that the struggles are not just troubling or exhausting, but the very beginning of an endless story of Your goodness. When those around seem to be giving so much more, You are keeping a different accounting book. Help me remember that this story isn’t finished, and the final totals are not even close to what I can understand. Let me be a woman of faith, turning my heart to eternity and not planting it here in the emptiness of now, looking for tangible results.
Oh come, let us adore Him and lay our gifts before Him. Whether two mites or the riches of frankincense … it matters not because He sees the true worth. Let us adore Him for the fact He came when He had so much to leave. For all He knew before He stood condemned for all we’ve done. Come, let us adore the One that valued us, people forgotten, unloved, unnoticed unknown, yet named Beloved by Him. Oh come for the staggering cost it was to buy us back. Let us love and give as He did. Oh come, let us adore Him. Let us join Him in His gift-giving, let us know that the cost of our unseen sacrifices is known to a good, a kind God who is no one’s debtor.
“And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11).