This past Sunday I did my normal walkthrough of the worship space before the Traditional Worship, and found the usual altar set-up: a giant Bible, baptismal bowl, a candle lighter, 2 Books of Worship, an Easter egg dressed up like a bunny…wait…what was that last one?
This egg was just sitting on the altar at 7:30 a.m. But I knew instantly who is came from: Monroe Fendley. Monroe has a habit of being awesome. She’s the kid who I’ve been told instructs her parents, aunt, and grandparents that they are, in no way, allowed to miss serving at Open Door. Because she’s a kid who has an awesome family that has taught her not only that God/Jesus/Church are awesome, but also that the experience is even more full when you contribute to what is awesome.
I’m sure you’re dying to know what candy Monroe wanted to give to the church. Well, inside were 6 quarters. I know I’m not supposed to divulge giving information as a bylaw of the Finance Team, so I’m praying for Monroe’s forgiveness, but I tell you that because when I texted Monroe’s mom I instantly thought of an experience that Clops and his friend walking to Emmaus might have been discussing.
Earlier, in Luke 21:1-4, Jesus extols the virtue of a poor widow who places two small copper coins (or leptons) into the Temple offering box. His exact words, in contrast to the religious elitists, were, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.”
A lepton coin was the most insignificant coin in the ancient Roman world. Our best example would be if a poor widow had put 2 pennies into the offering plate – and you can imagine the assumption we might have about that gift: “What good will that do?” What I would offer up is the opinion that Jesus isn’t extolling the poor widow for her contribution to the Temple. Jesus is valuing the gift for what it does for the poor widow.
In our worship journey towards peace and purpose at Emmaus, we see that being able to contribute to something larger than yourself is a key factor in how purposeful and peaceful your life feels. The poor widow and Monroe Fendley aren’t getting their name on a building with their gift, but names on buildings doesn’t bring peace. Knowing that you are part of something great brings peace. Contributing in whatever way to something awesome and good and righteous gives one a sense of purpose. Already from a young age, Monroe and many children at Creekwood are being brought up with the values of service, mission, generosity, and compassion – which are all values that connect us to a world larger than ourselves, and the belief that we have something to offer that world.
As we continue to journey to Emmaus together and personally, to have our eyes opened to the presence of God already amongst us, I hope you’ll learn to see yourself in the same way Christ sees you. That you can contribute something meaningful. That you are fearfully and wonderfully made. That even your two (or 6) are part of something greater – and something awesome.
Don’t forget our first information meeting to learn more about Creekwood’s trip to the Holy Land. There is no limit to the people that can go with us, and it is not required to be a member of Creekwood. To learn more CLICK HERE and to register CLICK HERE.