November 8th, 2015 Scriptures for the 24th Sunday after Pentecost
Scriptures: 1 Kings 17:8-16; Hebrews 9:24–28; Mark 12:38-44
Most of our lives we live with a very superficial, almost unconscious trust. We casually walk onto or into planes, trains, taxi cabs and busses, in essence entrusting our very lives to those we don’t even casually know. Don’t believe me, then ask yourself, when was the last time you walked onto a plane and took a left into the cockpit to ask the pilot for his credentials? You may have fleetingly looked in there only to notice that those flying your plane look barely old enough to deliver your paper, legally order a drink, or even shave. Nevertheless, you take a seat, buckle up and relinquish your mortality to someone other than you.
I mention this merely to underscore the message of the lessons for this day. If you look for common themes in the three appointed for the day, you might see widows, or sharing, or sacrifice, or poverty and riches. All valid, but I suggest one far deeper, things offered in trust. Whether the widow who prepared her ‘last morsel’ for a scruffy prophet, or the widow who gave ‘all she had to live on’ to the very place where those who ruled Jesus declared, ‘devoured widows’ houses’, or most importantly for us, Jesus who ‘appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.’
It is easy to discern what the widow who fed Elijah trusted in, ‘thus says the Lord.’ The second widow’s source of trust is a bit harder. Did she trust in God to provide all she needed, day to day? We can suggest that but certainly she was living with an intentional faith often lacking in our lives. But what about Jesus and His sacrifice? Whom was He trusting and how do we know? For the answer we only need to read a bit earlier in the book of Hebrews, “In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and requests, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death.” (Hebrews 5:7) This Jesus, God in flesh and bone did this solely so that we who often live our lives oblivious to intentional trust in God can be forgiven our ‘superficial’ faith as 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.” Rich in forgiveness, rich in grace, rich in trust for the One who created us, the One who saved us, and the One who continues to move us, make us holy in HIS sight.
So, followers of Jesus, live intentional, focused lives as you ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)