Rss feed

Subscribe to our new Signposts-only RSS feed.


As a small non-profit with a big mission, we rely on the generous gifts of supporters like you to help our ministry prosper and grow.

Donate to


Signposts: Daily Devotions

Saturday, March 6

Jesus 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.”
—Mark 12:41-44

All of the classic spiritual guides tell us that there are two essentials in the spiritual life. They speak of a two-sided positive and negative bipolarity. Jesus called these two essentials "prayer and fasting." The spiritual literature speaks of "detachment and attachment," "mortification and aspiration," "discipline and desire," "death and resurrection."

The mystical tradition of the spiritual journey speaks of coming out of bondage in Egypt, through the wilderness, into the Promised Land. In one scene Jesus tells his followers to take up their journey into the Kingdom of God with an empty knapsack.

Old-fashioned, traditional spiritual directors are less likely to ask, "How are you doing in your prayer life?" and more likely to inquire, "How are you doing in such things as penitence, humility, discipline, obedience, detachment and simplicity?”

Under the theory that you've got to pour out the dirty water before the bottle can be filled with the clean, they'll emphasize that we are rich in proportion to the things we can do without. Traditional spirituality knows we are free when it really doesn't matter to us whether we have, or are in want.

You know some of the sayings of Jesus: "Sell all and follow me. Whoever loses your life for my sake will find it. No one can serve two masters, God and wealth. It is as difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven as for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name's sake, will receive a hundred-fold. Blessed are the poor."

Familiar stuff isn't it? And distressing. Something seems to shout inside us—surely God doesn't expect us to give up everything in order to embrace Christ? There is such a contrast between the message of the Gospel and the message of the culture.

Expand my trust, O God, that I may let go of everything except you, and then embrace life gently, without attachment and possessiveness, trusting you simply and humbly to grant whatever may be necessary, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2007.