DISCLAIMER: Before reading this, I just want people to know that I have nothing against anyone doing what they love to do. I wrote this meant to be light-hearted fun. God bless.
Is there any kind of rule about how loud you are allowed to be in a residential neighborhood? Does anyone out there notice how loud gas powered bicycles are? It sounds like a weedwhacker right up to my ears! Or do you know if there are quiet hours during certain times in residential areas? Like dude, why do you such insane loud machines, and where are you ALWAYS going? Can someone just buy these dudes a car so I don’t have to live with that noise all the time?
This past Sunday we talked about Mark 12:38-44. Trust me, this will all make sense… It is the story about the woman in the synagogue that gave her whole life as an offering to God. You may know it better as the woman who gave two small copper coins in the cauldron. The Greek clearly state she gave her whole life. Not a percentage, not a portion, not any kind of monetary value… her whole life!
This narrative is starting to be one of my favorites because I can do so much with this passage and that it can be understood in many ways which does not make it wrong. It just depends on how the Spirit of God is reaching out to you when you encounter this passage.
But to think about this passage more, I realized something amazing. Thanks to Rev. Scott Andrews from McVeytown Presbyterian Church to give me a different perspective on this story.
Now the narrative does take place in a synagogue and near the entrance there is a cauldron that people put their offering in. It is shaped in a way that you can hear all the coins going in. And the wealthy give not to give to God but to get noticed, trying to make the loudest “noise” so that people just have to turn their heads to see who gave SO MUCH! Everyone is giving out of their wealth and has the ego to boast about trying to do all they can to get noticed by people.
The woman quietly approaches this cauldron and pours all but two copper coins in the giant cauldron. Probably, those coins made no noise at all. And even though it didn’t get the attention of the people, it sure got Jesus’ attention. Jesus stood up announced to His disciples and said she gave the most, that she gave her whole life!
It is incredible to think that we can try to make so much noise in our world to get attention, that God wouldn’t even turn His head. But sometimes we can do things quietly and peacefully, God will take notice. Again, in this story I don’t want to focus on money but want to focus on how we give our life to God. Do we need to make the most noise for God to notice us? No, not at all because well God already sees you. What is it that God is asking for. That is simply whatever you give, whatever you do in service, you give it your all, your whole life and heart into it. You do this not to seek approval from other people but do it to make God smile.
You don’t have to be the loudest, hardest worker, smartest, or most pious, you just have to understand two things. First there is nothing you can do to get God’s approval, because that God has already approved you through giving His whole life for you out of His love. And secondly, you do all things by merely focusing on what God wants, not what others want. Be appreciative with all the things God has given you, and never take anything for granted so put your all, your whole life into it.
Now if someone can please tell the two people riding their incredibly loud gas powered bicycles to keep it down for once when passing through a neighborhood on Coleridge Ave that would be great. Just tell them that God loves you and notices you without the loudest machine ever. Thank you.
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).