A problem for most of us is that the word “king” doesn’t have a very personal ring. Kings are far away in castles or up in the air somewhere. But think of this: “king” and “kin” come from the very same word. Jesus is all the things that Lockridge said of him. Jesus is our king. But he is also our kin. So when we embrace him, we become his brothers and sisters. And that means that we, too, are sons and daughters of God. As members of God’s royal family, we become everything that Christ is. We come to him with our humanity, and Christ fills it up with divinity. This is our dignity, our identity.
Do you remember spectrometers from physics class? They are used to separate and measure the different parts of a beam of light or to determine the chemical make-up of stars and planets. The earliest ones were simple prisms that separated ordinary white light into its rainbow-colored components. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a similar tool that could analyze our very complex lives and separate out all the problems and break them down into smaller, more distinguishable and more manageable pieces? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had the capability of going into the disaster zone of our life and use our spiritual spectrometers to determine exactly where God is and how grace is at work?
But I’m appalled to learn that this take on the text takes this text completely out of context. As I read commentaries for this sermon, I realized that we pastors have been misusing the widow’s mite in order to beg for money. So, in an act of repentance, what I want to do today is to look more closely at the widow’s situation so we can better understand her story.
What kind of teacher would let his students go to recess before finishing their math lesson? What kind of parent would let his kid eat chocolate cake for breakfast? And what kind of pastor would let her congregation celebrate the kingdom of God before it ever got here?