Welcome to the third week of Lent. Please take some time to listen to Andrew’s message.
Lent Devotional Week Three:
As we hear in Andrew’s message, Jesus is in the temple in Jerusalem only a day or so after turning over the tables and casting out the money changers, again highlighting the social inequality and the religious imbalance that he saw. Jesus points out the rich and the religious and shows their heart for what it is, a heart that while outwardly showing service to God, was inwardly worshipping power and self.
When Jesus points out the widow He does so because he is making a statement about the heart of true worship He sees in her. Jesus remarks: “This poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” – Mark 12-43,44
Giving all that she had, she was living out the foundations of the greatest commandment that Jesus spoke of only a few verses earlier, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12v30,31.
This is what worship is really all about and this what we see in the life of Jesus, who, as Paul remarks in Phillipians 2:
Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage, rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2v6-8
What we see as we look towards the cross is Jesus’ greatest moment of worship and the ultimate fulfilment of the greatest commandments.
When we remember the cross and remember the widow, we see that the heart of worship will always choose to intentionally and deliberately love God and love others no matter what it looks like. Worship always scorns the power, pride and control that sin craves and shows up the fallacy of the powerful and the religious because worship:
- helps us to live beyond our embarrassment and shame
- doesn’t allow the labels of others to determine who we are and who we see others to be, in Christ we see a new identity
- scorns suffering and pain because we love without condition and beyond circumstance
- shows the world the beauty of God’s love and His kingdom as we live to love him and others more than ourselves.
If when we remember the widow and cross, we see that worship is not about us or what we are seen to be doing, but who we really love, let’s ask ourselves:
Who do I really love?
How important is wealth and power to you?
Do I by my actions or choices exploit others?
Do I allow circumstance to dictate how and if I am loving?
Have I allowed circumstances to make my life more about me than anything else?