“Then Jesus sat down opposite the offering box, and watched the crowd putting coins into it. Many rich people were throwing in large amounts. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. He called his disciples and said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. For they all gave out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in what she had to live on, everything she had.” (Mark 12:41-44)
Tonight we are having are big neighborhood Halloween Party at our house. We will have lots of food, lots of candy and coolers of drinks. I created a sign-up sheet for ODC members to sign-up to bring food items for the party. One of our members, I will call him “Tim”, called me yesterday to talk about some things his family is going through and near the end of our conversation he said, “I have the box of Graham crackers I signed up to bring.” Here is the story behind the box of Graham crackers.
Tim and his family are new to Christ and new to church. I baptized him, his wife and his two children 6 months earlier. They live in a small three bedroom trailer they rent, his wife recently had a baby so they live off of his income and they struggle from time to time to make ends meet. He works hard though, and comes to our house church at 6:30pm in muddy boots and work cloths as he comes straight from his 12 hour work day.
A month or so ago Tim’s sister and he husband and their two kids moved into their small trailer with them. Where his sister and family lived was not a good place for them. They started getting caught up in drugs and had to get away. So Tim, out of his now love for Christ took tem in. Though his small trailer barley held them he struggled feeding his family, he took in another family of four and is feeding them as well.
The phone call we had earlier concerned him sharing some of the challenges he was going through with this. However, before Tim hung up, he said he got the box of Graham crackers he signed up to bring to the party to use for s’mores. He said when he got his paycheck cashed, the first thing he went and bought before he began paying his bills before he ran out of money was the box of Graham crackers. He was so proud to be able to pitch in and help the church outreach.
The story of the poor widows offering above in Mark’s gospel came to mind. Tim’s box of Graham crackers was purchased out of his poverty. And the kids who use the Graham crackers to make a s’more, and maybe take a couple bites and offer the rest to their parents or throw it away will have no idea of the Christ-like love and sacrifice that those simple crackers represent. Jesus’ sermon on the mount also come to mind, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:3) The kingdom of heaven is Tim’s. I am so proud of Tim and where he has come in his short time in Christ. I am also so convicted by his simple example giving and tithing. He gave the “first fruits” of his paycheck to reach out to his community for Christ.
My family, I pray today you will also be proud of Tim’s giving, and also convicted by his simple act of giving out of his need and his beautiful embracing of tithing to God, in Jesus’ name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!!
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
One Direction Community
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