Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Monday, December 8

All of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.
—Luke 21:4

Our poverty. In the culture of our abundance, it’s so hard to identify with the point of this story. A widow, whose very standing in the culture of Jesus’ day meant she had nothing, gives away all that she has. Her two copper coins become a testimony to her faith in the radical abundance of God.

It’s much easier to identify with the scribes who surround her. Standing there in their long robes, saying their important prayers, seeking their place of authority sounds much closer to where most of us live than does the place held by the widow. But if we take an honest look at this story, we know deep down that true poverty resides with the scribes—with us.

Getting in touch with our poverty is difficult. But when we accept that only God is in control, we discover a way to dig within the pockets of our lives for the two copper coins. When we accept that God loves us as children, we become willing to give ourselves away as servants of the one who gives us our very breath.

The widow, whose life made her vulnerable, was open to this place of the heart. The scribes, whose life made them invincible, closed their hearts. Our job is to reopen our hearts and find the love of God living and breathing therein.

When we do, we let go, let God, and reach for the copper coins. We find ourselves stripped of the robes and places of honor, but miraculously, we find ourselves seated at the banquet with the widow and all the heavenly hosts. Ironically, giving up our control and living into our poverty of spirit bestows the kingdom of God upon us all. And out of our spiritual poverty we bask in the abundance of God.

Open me to my poverty God, and, letting go of my control, seat me next to the widow at the banquet of your mercy. Amen.