April 16

Read: Luke 21:1-4

The Gospel of Luke, Chapters 19. 20 and 21, finds Jesus in Jerusalem teaching in the temple every day. He is causing quite a ruckus and I imagine the Temple Priests, religious scholars and Sadducees are pulling their hair out trying to find out ways to trip him up and make him look foolish. If we were somehow transported back in time to the space where Jesus was speaking, I would imagine it would be very noisy with people praying, animals bleating or doves cooing and perhaps grand offerings of cash and yet, Jesus notices “an impoverished woman, a widow, putting in two copper coins and says she is giving every penny she had to live on”.

When my son, Bayard was growing up, a Christmas Eve tradition was the reading of The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell. The story is about an unhappy four-year-old angel whose wish is granted, a retrieval of a treasure box under his earthly bed. Now, Jesus is about to be born and all the other angels and residents of heaven have piled up many glorious gifts at the throne of God and our poor little cherub offers the only gift he has, an ugly box filled with earthly items and guess what, God chooses the cherubs “lowly gift and turns it into the shining star of Bethlehem”.

Are you getting a stewardship message here? Well, maybe I was trying to sneak in a few giving thoughts so here goes my last reflection, a line from one of my favorite Christmas hymns, “In the Bleak Midwinter”. “Yet what I can I give him. give him my heart”.

Oh, by the way, every time I read the angel book to my son, I cried and when I read the book for this reflection, I grabbed the tissues.

Lord, we give you our hearts. Transform them for You. Amen.

-Mary Ann Taylor

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