God's widows

Posted by Jacob Dell on

Proper 27

1 Kings 17:8-16; Hebrews 9:24-28; Mark 12:38-44

People make two common errors in religion.

The first is to count religion a trifle that is easily satisfied by ritual, for instance, the "rich people" who "put in large sums" to the treasury in Sunday's gospel. There is nothing wrong with rich people giving large sums, but this does not make peace with God. 

The second is making religion too severe, for instance, by taking the two widows' stories in this week's readings to mean that we should recklessly abandon our worldly goods and duties to pursue mountaintop holiness.

To correct these errors, our religion needs to become the way we conform our lives to God's life.

Sometimes this means taking in an itinerate prophet when we can barely feed ourselves, only to find that everyone is sustained by a miracle. Sometimes it means giving away our daily wages. Most of the time, however, putting our faith to work in the world is not so extreme; nevertheless, it remains miraculous.

Listen to or read the sermon to learn more about why, whenever our human wills align with God's will, it is a miracle.