Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” – Mark 12:41-44
Take Home 2: Pick one discipline and make it a priority.
Maybe you’re really busy right now (probably, since it’s November). Maybe you can’t see any way to fulfill all the responsibilities God has given you and also have time for a rich devotional life. How can you remember God in this moment?
Even if your days are crazy, one small discipline may help you attend to God. This might mean buying a journal and filling one page with prayer before you start the work day. It can even be a journal with very short pages, so there isn’t much to fill. Maybe it’s committing to a once week church study group. I did that halfway through my busiest semester ever, and it made a big difference in my life. Maybe it’s meditating on one Bible verse while you take your morning shower. Maybe it’s listening to sermon podcasts while you commute. Or if sermons are more than you have time for, maybe you can listen to a song or two.
God is patient and generous. He is faithful to us even when—perhaps especially when—our resources of time and energy and money are slim. (I’ll never forget the sermon where pastor Glenn Hoburg reminded me that God’s relationship to us is real and vital and faithful no matter how many quiet times we’ve missed that week, though unfortunately I have forgotten its title.) And in God’s vast humility and generosity, He honors even very small gifts.
Perhaps the time you can make for prayer and meditation right now feels like the widow’s mite—practically nothing on the world’s scale of value. Maybe you only have 15 minutes to give to prayer and Scripture reading at this moment. Maybe you only have 5. Maybe it feels like taking 5 minutes would put you even more hopelessly behind. But remember how Christ responded to the widow’s mite. Because it was all she had to give, Christ saw it as a treasure. This may be the moment when He’s waiting to welcome even your tiniest gift of time.
What is your “widow’s mite” of time right now? How can you give it to Christ?
Oh Lord, Accept even our small gifts. Welcome us in Your great generosity, and let us give all we can to You. Amen.
Image: JESUS MAFA. The Widow’s Mite, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48392 [retrieved September 23, 2015].
About the author:
Dr. Hannah Eagleson loves building the ecosystem Christian scholars need to flourish and create positive impacts, in the university and beyond. She is Associate Director of InterVarsity’s Emerging Scholars Network, a digital first ministry serving thousands of early career Christian scholars. Dr. Eagleson launched the ESN student/early career track at the American Scientific Affiliation annual faith and science conference. She is the editor of *Science and Faith: Student Questions Explored* (Hendrickson, 2019), and the one-semester guidebook *Scholar’s Compass: Connecting Faith & Work for Academics* (InterVarsity Emerging Scholars Network, 2021), with design by noted liturgical artist Ned Bustard. She also launched the Scholar's Compass online devotional series in her previous role as ESN Editor. Dr. Eagleson holds an MA from St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD) and a PhD in Renaissance literature from the University of Delaware.