The Extravagance of Love
Strange, isn't it, how a little and seemingly insignificant event in the daily round of life will suddenly bring into focus what has been churning under the surface of our consciousness for a long time.
It happens for example with people. You try to figure people out, what makes them tick and then a simple act or expression reveals who they are. You begin to see what truly motivates them, drives them or what confuses them.
It happens with ourselves. We try to understand ourselves by great introspection. We are often unsure of the conflicting mixture of values and purposes. Then in some crisis or opportunity, we act or react and it reveals what is really going on inside.
It happens with situations. We gather into our feelings and thoughts, what's happening, not really clear what we should do about a given situation. Then without expecting it, something happens and we see the whole thing very clearly, as never before.
This twelfth chapter of the Gospel of Mark is that kind of a picture.
Jesus has been through a grueling day and all of a sudden, what seemingly, appears as an insignificant event, of a widow contributing her mite, brings it all into focus.
He had been through grueling days of disputing with the legalistic Pharisees and the sly compromising Herodians. Jesus found a quiet place, a place in the courts of the temple. He sat across from the large metal boxes, which collected the contributions for the upkeep and sacrifices.
I am sure He sat down in the midst of the storm of that day, to
think and to pray, because He sat musing at all that had
happened to Him.
He was barely aware of the stream of people that passed by, flinging their tithes, their offerings and their temple taxes into the contribution boxes.
These boxes where called trumpets, because of their trumpet like shape. People would throw their contributions in with force, in order to make a loud ...
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