Mark 12: 38-44
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By Lois Parker Edstrom
Get a copy of “The Giving Tree,” written by Shel Silverstein, from the library and read it to the children, sharing the illustrations with them. If time is more limited, summarize the general concept of the book.
Some of you may know the story of The Giving Tree. It is a story about an apple tree that loved a little boy very much. In the beginning the little boy spent a lot of time playing in and around the tree.
As the boy got older he spent less and less time with the tree, but when he did come to visit he talked about things he wanted. First he wanted money, then he wanted to build a house and after that he wanted to build a boat so he could sail away.
Each time the tree gave him what he wanted – its apples to sell so he would have money, its branches so he could build a house, and finally its trunk so he could build a boat. Giving made the tree happy.
Finally, the tree, which was now just an old stump, had nothing else to give. It had given all it had. By this time the boy had become an old man and he rested on the tree’s stump.
This story may help us understand today’s lesson about how people give to help others. In today’s Bible story rich people put great sums of money into the treasury and then Jesus saw that a poor widow had given everything she had, which was one penny.
Jesus said, “…this poor widow gave more than all those who are giving into the treasury,” (12:43) “for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on” (12:44).
For some the story of “The Giving Tree” may be a sad story, but it is also a story about how love causes us to give to others, sometimes all we have.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2009, Richard Niell Donovan