A message for the week starting on Sunday 7 November 2021
Lectionary Week: Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Prescribed Texts: Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17, Psalm 127, Hebrews 9:24-28, Mark 12: 38-44
Focus Text: Mark 12: 38-44
Today’s Gospel reading speaks about offering and this can so easily be interpreted or defined as “money that I give, or offering of myself”. In this story of Mark’s gospel, it is so fascinating to hear how the actions and attitudes displayed very much relate to our modern day-to-day life.
When one mentions widows and orphans, people are touched deeply and their willingness to offer support is accelerated. However, my personal experience is that when one adds the important ingredient of HIV or AIDS to the plight of widows and orphans, the offering of support is suddenly very limited and scarce.
It is such a beautiful illustration: Jesus watching the people, the same way He watches over you and me. He explains to His disciples that the widow placed everything that she had in the offering. Others placed what they had spare.
Many of my brothers and sisters who are living with HIV & AIDS, place everything that they have into the story that they share with you; the pain of their lives, their reality, they are offering their whole being to you. How ready are we to embrace all of this? Do you ever find yourself in such a situation? Sadly, many of us just walk away. We would rather not offer of ourselves and subsequently we just leave that person with deeper scarring and pain.
Jesus watches over all of us every day. Are you a person who is willing to change and learn how to offer your time to others? It is not easy! But knowing that Jesus is there, watching and waiting and willing to assist, makes it worthwhile to take that leap of faith!
The widow, when she speaks to Elijah, knows that she does not have enough flour and oil, yet she takes that great step of faith and gives Elijah something to eat. Through that action of offering, a miracle happened, and the widow never ran short of flour and oil again.
Today, as I stand back, I do believe that HIV and AIDS created an opportunity for us as Christians and human beings to offer ourselves to be the heart, hands, eyes and feet of Jesus.
How humble you will become as you journey with someone and learn and feel their pain of loneliness, heartache, sorrow, and hunger. Let people see Jesus through your life.
To Think About: If God had to evaluate your life, what would the result be? Would you have passed, or failed the test?
Written by: Ms Beverley Hendricks: Co-ordinator – Fikelela AIDS Project and Trained Churches, Channels of Hope (CCoH) facilitator