BEFORE HAND, TALK:
Jesus is sitting with his disciples in the courtyard outside the temple. This was the place where offerings were given. Unfortunately, people could see and be seen as they gave their money. Some made a big show of their generosity. Others, like the widow, might have been ashamed by how little they were able to give.
Jesus sees this and uses the opportunity to teach about pride. He tells his disciples to be wary of scribes who do things for appearances but ignore God’s expectations for how they treat others. He then points to the opposite: someone who is an example of faithfulness—a poor widow who gave two small copper coins worth only a penny. Jesus points out the difference between the kingdom of God’s understanding of greatness and the world’s understanding, saying that this woman gave more than anyone else. She gave all she had and did not give for show.
Kids may feel that they don’t have much to give, that their giving doesn’t make a difference. They need to know that when they share what they have from a spirit of love for God and neighbor, amazing things can happen.
TALK ABOUT IT:
-Which are your favorite—small or large coins? Why?
-Jesus wants us to share with others. Who can you share with?
-What kinds of gifts can we give that don’t cost any money?
-Talk about how your family decides how much money to give to church and organizations outside of the church.
-When you see the offering being collected at church, think of this story of the widow and the rich man.
-Hearing coins jangling can remind you of this story that teaches us how best to share.
-Set up a money box in your home. Designate a recipient (e.g. an organization or charity your family cares about) for the money, then spend a few weeks “sneaking” coins into it. Encourage everyone to contribute a little bit every day and try not to get caught doing it. Count it all up and give it to the recipient you chose.
-Find out what percent of each dollar given to your favorite charities actually goes toward their actual programs versus how much is considered “overhead.” Use this information in your family’s future giving plans.
Give us grateful and generous hearts, O God. You give us all we need—help us to share all that we have like the poor widow. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.