Mark 12:41-44 – The Widow’s Offering
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
There are a lot of pennies that are left ignored, forgotten, left on the ground, even thrown away. There are discussions even about getting rid of pennies and just rounding everything to the nearest nickel. Of course, if that happened, then people would want to get rid of nickels. Anyway, so often, pennies are just cast off and forgotten. I learned the lesson of a penny a few years ago when we visited my parents on vacation. My mom collects pennies in a HUGE piggy bank. I’m not sure how long she was collecting them on this most recent visit, but it had been a while because there were a LOT of pennies. There were enough for her to take the kids out on a trip to the bookstore for books for each of them as well as a snack afterward. So, one penny doesn’t get a whole lot, but when tied together with many others, it can make a tremendous difference.
But there’s another piece to this story for me and that’s how I wonder if the widow was a bit of a penny herself. In the time of Jesus, a widow was usually forgotten or cast off as not having value any longer without her husband. Yet, this woman continues to have infinite value to Jesus – she is willing to continue to sacrifice of herself in order to make a difference to the lives of others.
So, the next time you see a penny, think of the value that it has along with all the pennies that we each are.