Worship Service – November 7, 2021




(1) The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”
(2) The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies.
(3) Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your youth.
(4) The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
(5) The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
(6) He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth. (7) He will drink from a brook beside the way; therefore, he will lift up his head.
HEBREWS 9:24-28
(24) For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. (25) Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. (26) Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. (27) Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, (28) so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
MARK 12:35-44
(35) While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David? (36) David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: ” ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.” ‘ (37) David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?” The large crowd listened to him with delight.
(38) As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, (39) and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. (40) They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.”
(41) Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. (42) But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. (43) Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. (44) They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything–all she had to live on.”
Throughout the final scenes of Jesus’ public ministry, Mark’s gospel has documented an ongoing debate between Jesus and the members of the Sanhedrin. In today’s gospel reading, in these-Temple-located exchanges, Jesus gets in the last word. Although in last week’s text Jesus had praised a Scribe, declaring that he was “not far from the kingdom of God” (v.34), the
Scribes who are part of our focus in this week’s discussion, fall at the other end of the ethical spectrum. Instead of hearing from Jesus, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” these Scribes hear, “Such men will be punished most severely.”(v.40), for their hypocrisy.
In these final verses, Mark records, that Jesus asked the “teachers of the law” a rhetorical question about the first scripture we read today. Psalm 110 verse 1, The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”. Thereby revealing himself as the Messiah, the Son of God. They didn’t have the benefit of the teachings we received today from the writer of Hebrews. So all to many of them just blew him off and went about business as usual. Jesus knew this would be their attitude. So, then he warns all those listening to him about the hypocrisy of the “teachers of the law”, and contrasts them with the humble widow, who gives her all to God.
Many of the “teachers of the law” were like a little boy in a story told, about a Sunday morning service, in a little church, similar to ours. The sermon just seemed to go on and on. Unlike me, the preacher kept circling the point but never quite getting there. ( I’ll get there. Just let me put my two cents in.) One of the little boys in the service that day was getting more and more restless. Mom was having a hard time getting him to sit still. Finally, in a whisper loud enough for the whole congregation to hear, he said: “Mommy, if we give him the money now, will he let us go?”
I think that story is also a good reminder that preachers need to follow the old KISS principle. You know: Keep It, Simple Stupid. It also reminded me of how everyone, even the little ones, like to put their two cents in. The “teachers of the law” most certainly did! This day, in the temple, Jesus got “His Two Cents In”.
By Mark’s recording of the account of “The Widow’s Offering” is probably where we get that phrase, “putting your two cents in.” So let me put my two cents in.
According to diagrams in many biblical commentaries, within the Temple proper, was the area known as the Women’s Court. There, along the walls, were thirteen large, metal, trumpet- shaped receptacles to receive offerings for various purposes. It was across from this area where Jesus sat to teach.
Jesus, sitting there in the temple teaching, must have noticed the sounds that the coins made as people would come and make their offerings. Some of the rich people put in large sums. And some of the rich people did it with great fanfare. You see, those receptacles sat in plain view and the clinking and clanking of their offering advertised to the crowds around the size of their offerings. The loud noise would cause people to turn and look.
Sometimes these rich people would go from one metal receptacle to another, loudly proclaiming just how generous they were, not with words but with the clinking and clanking of their coins in the receptacles. Jesus said that such donors have already received their reward (Matt. 6:1-2).
But Jesus, sitting there teaching amidst all the noise of the Temple, heard when the widow quietly placed her two mites in the offering receptacle. He heard and he pointed out her generosity. Why?
Not because of the clinking and clanking sound it made, because it was probably almost unnoticeable. But because she gave, Reverently, Rejoicingly and Recklessly! This widow’s attitude in giving, is an example, a model for us today, of the mind set we should have in all giving. Let’s take a moment and examine this Widow’s offering and her attitude in giving.
Reverently, according to my spellchecker, reverently is an adverb. And it is defined as being in a way that exhibit deep respect.
So, the first thing to note about the widow is that she gave Reverently.
But before we talk about her. Let me demonstrate how you can be one of those ”teachers of the law” Jesus was talking about. You’ve probably seen these kinds of people before. The one’s who want everyone to know how much they give.
What you do is this. First, you have to prepare your wallet or purse. You go to the bank and get a brand new $20 bill or even a $50 bill, it just depends on how much you want to be noticed. You also get at least twenty $1 bills. You can use as many as thirty but after that it starts to become problematic.
Second, you lay the $20 bill on the outside of all those ones and carefully place the whole bundle in your wallet or purse.
Third, you sit in the pew as the offering plate comes and pretend not to notice that it has started down your row. When it gets to you, you act surprised. Make a big deal about getting out your wallet or opening your purse while your neighbor holds the offering plate.
Finally, you carefully pull out the $20 and the ones, fold the $20 over the ones so it looks like a whole stack of $20s and carefully place it in the offering plate (so your neighbor can see how generous you are) take the plate and pass it on. That’s if you really want to be like “the teachers of the law”, Jesus was talking about.
Let me also “put my two cents in” again, by telling you what reverent giving looks like in an encounter I had one Sunday in the form of a five-year-old little boy who ran up and threw his arms around my leg and hugged the stuffing out of me.
He jumped out of nowhere one Sunday morning in the business of the entry way of the church. He nearly tripped me. But it was his hug of love that kept me from falling, just as it has been Christ’s very own hug of love that has kept me from falling so many other times in my daily walk of faith.
When those little arms unwrapped themselves from my leg the little boy they belonged to yelled, “Hey preacher, look what I’ve got for Jesus this morning.” I looked down and he proudly showed me his quarter for the offering.
He told me that his mom and dad had recently started him on an allowance. They gave him 10 quarters a week. One of them (the first one) was for Jesus. The second one was for savings. And the other eight he could spend almost any way he wanted. I wish you could have seen the look of joy on that little boy’s face when he gave his quarter to Jesus.
It was just a quarter, but the widow’s mite couldn’t have been any more precious than that quarter at that moment. Like the widow, that little boy gave Reverently and Rejoicingly.
The widow also gave Rejoicingly. My spellchecker doesn’t think that’s a real word, but we’re going to baptize it and use it anyway because we’re called to give Rejoicingly as well.
True story. A missionary from India talked about an army officer who stopped to have his shoes shined by a poor Indian boy on the street. He said the boy launched into his task with such enthusiasm and vigor that the man was utterly amazed. Instead of an ordinary, slipshod performance with an all-too-eager outstretched hand for a tip, the boy worked diligently until the leather sparkled with a beautiful shine.
The officer asked, “Why are you taking so much time to polish my boots?”
The young boy told the officer, “Well, sir, last week Jesus came into my heart and now I belong to him. Since then, every time I shine somebody’s shoes, I keep thinking they’re shoes that belong to Jesus, so I do the very best I can. I want Jesus to be pleased!”
That attitude of, doing a great job instead of a good job makes all the difference. That young boy felt the joy of Christ in his heart and like the widow was living a life of rejoicing. And no matter what he did, he did it Rejoicingly. We’re called to do the same and to give with the same rejoicing heart.
The Widow gave Recklessly; According to my spellchecker recklessly is adjective meaning; Utterly unconcerned about the consequences of some action; without caution.
So let me give you my last two cents, well maybe it’s three cents. The widow gave Recklessly. She gave without thought to her own needs first. She gave her all out of love for God, knowing that, even though she was a poor widow, God would take care of her.
I’m reminded of the story of a young preacher who was invited to speak to one of the local service clubs. He felt flattered by the invitation until the master of ceremonies rose to introduce him. “Unfortunately,” he said, “our original choice for today’s speaker was unable to attend.” Then, in a clumsy attempt at humor, he pointed to a broken windowpane which had been covered over with a piece of cardboard. “Our speaker,” he said, “is like that piece of cardboard in the window. He’s a substitute.” Just a bit reckless in his introduction don’t you think? Anyway, being somewhat taken aback by the sloppy introduction, the young preacher decided to show them: Substitute or not he would deliver a good talk. And he did! When he finished the speech, he received a rousing ovation.
But when the emcee attempted to thank the speaker, it was even more awkward than the introduction. “Reverend,” he said, “we want you to know that you weren’t at all like a cardboard substitute. You were a real pane!”
Look, I don’t want to be a real pain. But let me “put in my two cents” by asking you a rhetorical question like Jesus asked to the “teachers of the law”. Is how you live and give, hypocritical in your walk with Christ, devouring widow’s houses for show, or are you like the poor widow, Reverently, Rejoicingly and Recklessly giving to God all he deserves?
Remember the words of the Hebrews writer, “Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.” (Hebrews. 9:24)
“Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”(Hebrews. 9:28)
When “Putting in Your Two Cents” today and every day, do it, Reverently, Rejoicingly and Recklessly because of the Gift of Grace God has given you through Christ our Lord and Savior.
I’m just putting in my two cents.
In His Service,
Pastor Joe
Listen To Audio: Service 20211107
Listen To Audio: Service 11072021
Prayer of Confession:   Divine Provider, we confess that we sometimes doubt your provision for us. When we start scraping the bottom of the barrel, we cut back our sharing with others who have already run out and are hungry or in need. Forgive selfishness and independence that prevents interdependence and working together to solve distribution problems in the use of the resources of your good earth, through your compassionate Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Pastor Joe will be available at the church on Thursday afternoon from 2 to 4.  If you need to speak to him, contact Pastor Joe at 570-267-4570 (cell) or Email: joe.s.travis@gmail.com

Social Hour today following church. Greeting cards for signature are in the Community Building.

Loose change goes to Local Missions

Sunday School starts at 8:30am

Choir practice will be on Thursday at 1:00! Please come a join us in singing praises to Jesus! 

“Feed-a-friend” mission ends today. 

Our mission for the Children’s Home in Binghamton (Bill’s Kids) starts next week.  Monetary gifts only.  The staff will buy presents.

Veterans Day November 11th

PW will meet on November 11th at 11:00 A.M.

Congregational Meeting November 14th right after church.

Session Meeting Tuesday, November 16, at 9am

Men’s Breakfast Wednesday November 17th at 8:00 A.M.

Christmas Greeting – If anyone would like to put a Christmas Greeting in the Dec. Messenger, please give a handwritten note or E-Mail her at whisperpines@frontiernet.net to Carolyn White by Tuesday November 30th.

Newsletter Deadline – Tuesday November 30th, 2021.

LADIES’ CHRISTMAS TEA at the Montrose Bible Conference, December 7th 2021.  Christmas music, devotional thoughts with our speaker, a light lunch, assortment of seasonal goodies and teas.  11am to 1 pm—Cost $12 per person.  Please sign up in vestibule.



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