Monthly Reflection – July 2013
Here is the C.P.A. reflection for July- I hope you are all still enjoying the Sunshine!
The Widow’s Offering- Mark 12:41-44
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
As a former Roads Policing officer I am often teased about the stereotypical view of my former colleagues standing around with: ‘Coffee and Doughnuts’-(This is not true….well not all of the time!)
I was reminded of a story about Doughnuts recently and the above scripture came to mind-
A Man was travelling across the Atlantic from New York to London; he arrived at the airport and after checking his bags and going through security he just had time for a nice cup of coffee before his flight was called. He queued up and noticed that the particular coffee shop was selling a bag of five fresh mini ring doughnuts for half price. This offer was far too good to be ignored and along with his large coffee he walked away with a bag of Doughnuts. (And no I do not know if he was a Roads Policing Officer- before you ask!)
On looking around for somewhere to sit the coffee shop was very busy- he noticed the only unoccupied seat at a table where a well-dressed man was sitting reading a newspaper. Our traveller made his way across the coffee shop and arrived at the table- He asked the well-dressed Gent ‘Is this seat taken?’ The man replied ‘No’ and invited him to sit down. Our traveller placed his hand luggage on the floor- his own Coffee, Doughnuts and Newspaper on the table and sat down.
He happily took a sip of his coffee and began to glance at his Newspaper and tore open the bag of Doughnuts- he took one and with a smile on his face placed it in his mouth and took a sip of coffee. The Well Dressed Gent at this point reached across the table and took a Doughnut out of the bag- he smiled at our traveller and devoured it in one mouthful. Our Traveller was dumb struck- this man had just taken one of his doughnuts- without a word he had stolen a Doughnut! With that our traveller took another Doughnut and placed it in his mouth- whilst moving the bag back towards him. A few seconds later the well-dressed gent leaned across the table and into the bag- he smiled at our traveller and ate a second Doughnut. Our traveller was lost for words- he has only taken a second Doughnut- it means there is only one left; this man has some cheek stealing my Doughnuts.
After a few moments of sitting in Silence a flight announcement was made and the Well Dressed Gent stood, nodded and smiled at our traveller reached across the table into the bag and took the last Doughnut. The well-dressed Gent proceeded to rip the final Doughnut in two and give half to our traveller- He said good morning and was on his way whilst eating half of a Doughnut.
Needless to say our traveller was now very angry and decided that he had to say something- But as he stood to go after the Well-dressed Gent his flight number was called at a gate in the opposite direction. He finished his coffee put down his newspaper and reached down to pick up his hand luggage- Sitting on top of the bag was HIS BAG OF DOUGHNUTS!
I hope that the meaning of this story is not lost on you- It turned out that our traveller had been the one stealing the Doughnuts and not our Well-dressed Gent sitting across from him! As it turn out the Gent had happily been sharing the Doughnuts with our traveller and even tore the last on in half to give some of it to our traveller without any reservation!
The idea of giving is one that sits at the centre of Christian belief- whether it be goods, Money or time that you give it is important to give gladly! We see in the scripture above that Jesus teaches us that the widow who all she has even though it is a few copper coins gives more than all the rich people put together.
It is important to remember that when we give it is all relative: the small amount of time or money we give that we regard as small could mean the difference between life and death for someone else. When we give a pair of shoes to a homeless person and think ‘they are only shoes’ it is important to remember that to that homeless person who has no shoes they mean warmth and an element of safety- it means much more to them than we can possibly imagine. Or when you buy an extra few tins of food to give to your local food bank- remember those few tins of food may be the difference between a family eating or going hungry! We see around us needs everyday- the simple task we have a followers of Christ is to try in our own way to fulfil those needs.
I will end with another piece of scripture this month and challenge us all to give of ourselves and share our doughnuts without reservation!
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick; or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Branch Leader Hertfordshire C.P.A.