Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, "The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all." Mark 12:41-44 (TM)
The church was nothing more than a poorly constructed shack. The walls were a mixture of second hand boards and some scraps of sheet metal. The pews were patched together with old boards and logs. The floor was bare dirt. The altar was an old, discarded table. Yet, it was the only piece of furniture that wasn’t patched together.
I was in a remote part of the Philippines and had been asked to preach at this ramshackle church. People emerged from the dense foliage to gather and worship. I was amazed and surprised by the sheer number of people pressing into the church when it seemed that we were in the middle of nowhere.
"Where did all these people come from?" I asked my host and interpreter.
He then explained to me that most of them had walked from villages miles away. Some had walked through the night to meet, to worship, and to hear God’s word. I am amazed today by the memory as I was at that moment of realization. These people were hungry enough for God that they would hoof it ten hours through the jungle. I sometimes balk at driving the half-mile to my church on Sunday morning.
I have a lot to learn about sacrifice.