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As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
The Greatest Show on Earth
A couple of weeks ago I heard that the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey circus was closing. And I’ve got to admit, it made me sad. Of course, I understand why it happened. I mean, I recognize people now-a-days are a lot more sensitive about the treatment of animals than they were in the past. And with CGI, it’s hard for even a guy on a tight rope to dazzle kids. And even the nature of circuses have changed, with sleek production values replacing sawdust and grit. And so I understand the old time circuses just don’t fit into the our modern world. Still, they were a part of my childhood. You see, every year, we’d go to see Clyde Beatty tame loins and the Shrine Circus out there on the Norview High School football field. But without question, the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey circus, that was the most impressive of all. I mean, it was “The Greatest Show on Earth,” right?
But even though that circus was impressive, there’s one kind of show that’s not impressive at all, at least not with God. You see, even though we may impress the world and even fellow Christians with great displays of spirituality and generosity, God isn’t impressed. He’s not impressed by our ability to work spiritual jargon into every conversation. And he’s not impressed our willingness to return to him a tiny fraction of what he’s already given us. You see, God just isn’t impressed with great displays of glitz and glitter, even if we think we’re offering him the greatest show on earth.