But, even if I had been given what was given to others, nevertheless, I would not be silent.
- Patrick, Confession, Irish, 5th century
So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all…”
- Luke 21.3
We live in a culture of stars and superstars. Everyone wants to be famous, at least for 15 minutes. The people who matter most are the ones with all the talent, all the wealth, all the power, the big name, the huge contract, the great batting average, the smooth moves, the glitzy smile, the funny stories, the big church – and so on.
Ordinary folk like you and I know our place: ours is to admire and endorse, and not in any way to dare to aspire to greatness of our own. We’re all the biggest losers in a nation that only wants winners, and our culture makes sure we remember this, day in and day out.
If we just keep our place and follow the herd, we’ll all get a gold star.
This desire for stardom, this longing to be somebody, or at least to be seen as being somebody, is surely one of the greatest hindrances to the church’s being the church and making the kind of impact the Lord intends.
The quote from Patrick comes in his Confession after a section in which he bemoaned his lack of facility in the Latin tongue. Patrick was not thoroughly schooled for ministry, unlike the clergy in Britain who were criticizing him and trying to subvert his ministry. Throughout his Confession Patrick apologized for his “rusticity” and backwoods grasp of grammar. He was kidnapped and carried off before he could finish his schooling, and so his literary abilities, well, they weren’t so good.
But note the jibe at his eloquent critics: even if he could speak and write as well as they, he would not hesitate – as they were – to proclaim the Name of Jesus far and wide.
Wop! What a slap across the face!
Here’s Patrick, all rustic and unschooled, barely able to write in an acceptable manner and not at all accomplished in speech, winning Ireland to Christ and starting one of the greatest revivals in Church history, while these very learned and high-placed pastors in Britain – whom Gildas, on of their own, would expose and denounce in the next generation – could only complain and grouse about him and his work.
Superstars don’t like to be shown up by nobodies like Patrick.
So here’s this poor widow, commended by Christ above all her wealthy contemporaries, because, though she had but a little, she gave it all to the Lord. “Little is much when God is in it./Labor not for wealth or fame./There’s a crown and you can win it,/If you go in Jesus’ Name” (Kittie L. Suffield,1924).
You may not be a superstar or even think you have much to offer the Lord. Somebody has given you the wrongimpression that “ministry” is what folks do who’ve been to seminary or are recognized as teachers or leaders. What, after all, do we have to offer anyone?
But Jesus welcomes your widow’s mite, your riches of rusticity, your humble good deeds, charitable attitude, kindly word, and simple witness. He can use our unpolished offerings in powerful ways to bring glory and honor to His Name.
So step up, friend. Your Personal Mission Field awaits you each and every day. Receive what God has given you with thanksgiving, and make the most of your time each day by seeking and advancing the Kingdom with all your “mite.”
1. Praise and thank the Lord for all the “mites” He has entrusted to your use. Resolve to use them all today in ministry to others.
2. Whom can you encourage today to thank and praise God for their “mites”?
Psalm 1.1, 2 (St. Thomas: I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord)
How blessed are they that shun sin’s vain and wicked ways.
For them has Christ salvation won; He loves them all their days.
God’s Word is their delight; they prosper in its truth.
In it they dwell both day and night to flourish and bear fruit.
Here I am, Lord; send me where You will, and use my “mites” to…
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T. M. Moore
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 Da Paor, p. 98.