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Nothing More


9 July 2024

Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing.

Joel 2:12–13

[Adapted from 2017–2018 Sermon & Class Helps, Year B, Herald House, 2017, p. 124]

We’re reminded in the story of the widow’s mite of what it looks like to “give…to your true capacity” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:9). The widow gave out of her poverty, meaning she gave the way God gives, from her heart. The scribes in the story gave from what was left over, or out of their abundance. The scribes withheld their generosity. Jesus preached inclusion of all, including widows.

God’s generosity is grace freely given with no holding back (Ephesians 1:6). The scribes withheld grace to the widow and her class. Then they gave only enough to be seen by others as they gave. The widow gave all she could give, and she gave it humbly. She received God’s gift of grace that day.

As Jesus sat opposite the treasury, he was able to observe as God’s creation responded to God’s generosity. He witnessed someone, who understood her relationship to her loving God, go to a place where she was not welcomed and to which the religious leaders of the day used her offering as a source of their livelihood. Still, she gave because she knew God would expect nothing more of her. Jesus also witnessed how some withheld from their God and used God’s name to put down others.

In showing God’s true grace and generosity, Jesus courageously stood by the one who humbled herself even at the risk of giving his life for her welfare.

Imagine what can happen to a person’s relationship with God when he or she gives out of a genuine desire to give back to God.

Prayer Phrase

“For by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:8).

Spiritual Practice

The Jesus Prayer of Mercy

The Jesus Prayer is an ancient spiritual practice from Orthodox Christianity. It is a way of connecting with the gracious Spirit of Christ as we ask to receive his mercy. The prayer comes from the scripture of the blind man calling Jesus to heal him. Silently enter prayer and let your breath become slow and even. Greet God and then take up the prayer phrase: Lord, Jesus Christ (as you breathe in) … have mercy on me (as you breathe out). Prayerfully repeat these words for several minutes (or forty times). Breathe the presence of Christ into your mind, heart, and body. Be transformed as you receive the compassionate, peaceful heart of Jesus.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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