On a certain day, Jesus was in the temple. Large crowds would watch as the rich parade by in their fine cloths with coin sacks bulging with money. A hush would descend upon the crowd. Each rich person stopped to ceremoniously tip over their coin sack so the coins could be seen and heard by all as they clattered into the waiting treasury.
“How much did this person give?” the crowd would wonder. How did this gift compare to the person before in line? Who would give the most?
It seems a strange place for Jesus to be sitting with his friends. But here he was, watching with the crowds around him. Then, someone caught His eye.
A poor widow, holding only two coins in her hand, stood in line with the wealthy. Two coins worth, only about a half a cent. To most, it looked like a small gift, almost an embarrassing amount. What was she doing?
“Really,” Jesus remarked, “this poor woman has given more than all the rest of them combined. For they have given out of their extra, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has” (Luke 21:3-4).
Sometimes a gift seems small when we compare it to others. When Squanto helped the pilgrims that first summer, he gave small things. He helped them plant corn. He taught them to hunt. It all seemed such small everyday things. But it ultimately saved their lives. It was the selfless act of kindness from their new friends.
When the Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving, it was for these things they gave thanks.
Sometimes we think that our gifts to others must be big. They must make a big clattering noise and be noticed by everyone. Sometimes the simple every day things we do can mean the most. A phone call, a visit, a meal, all can have an impact on the people around us.
This Thanksgiving, let us remember to thank God for all His many blessings, including the people who mean the most in our lives. Maybe even take the time like the Pilgrims did to thank that person. And let us take time to give out small, everyday gifts to those around us. You never know what the impact might be in their life.
Mike Gunnon is pastor of the Onamia Alliance Church.