Emmitsburg Council of Churches


 Holy Gospel according to St. Mark 12:38-44

As he taught, he said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 12:39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! 12:40 They devour widows' houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation." 12:41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 12:42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 12:43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 12:44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on." The Gospel of the Lord . . . Praise to you O Christ!

God's Little Miracles!

I recently read a story about a man who was having a great deal of pain due to a melanoma skin cancer that was affecting the area around his right ear. He was receiving treatment, but the condition of his skin around that ear made it very tender and sensitive. The pain would not be so bad accept that it was constantly being irritated by the weight of the glasses that he wore. In fact, he had developed soars around his ears in earlier years because his glasses were made with very thick lenses which were required due to a severe sight deficiency. When he began treatment for the skin cancer, he used to wrap his heavy framed glasses with gauze bandages and he would also put band-aids over the sensitive skin. But eventually -- this "Home Remedy" ceased to give him any relief . . . .

He needed his heavy weight glasses in order to see . . . but they had become so painful to wear, that he was getting ready to give up. At some point in his despair, he remembered that a brand new Optometrist had recently moved to town and a little voice in his head was telling him. "Go visit the new Eye Doctor -- he will help you!" With a limited income, the old man ignored this inner-voice, money was in short supply–he would just have to endure the pain. But one day when this pain was particularly bad, he remembered that the Optomotrist might be able to help.

So he dropped by the Optomistrist's office without an appointment. Thankfully, the Dr. was able to see him right away. When the Doc came out, the old man quickly noticed a similarity in himself and the Dr. they both wore those extra heavy duty, thick lenses!! The old man quickly explained about the irritation he was having, he was desparate for anything that would help alleviate the pain. The Dr. kindly asked the man to give him his glasses and he would see if he could "make a little adjustment." After a few minutes the Doc returned with the old man's glasses and explained that he was quite certain that a mere millimeter of adjustment was going to make a world of difference in the way the glasses were supported around the sore ear. The old man carefully placed his re-adjusted frames over the sore spot on his ear . . . and sure enough, the glasses now did not rest on the sore area!!! A mere millimeter of adjustment had made all the difference!!!

Perhaps we often discount what a small contribution can make in the life of our church or in the situation where a little bit of help is needed. We think to ourselves, "I don't have anything to contribute." In fact, we know that we can all give something, but we DISCOUNT what we might have to give. "I can only stay for half an hour to help at ___________" or "I don't really know how to bake – so I would not be able to contribute anything toward making a meal for a family in need." Or, "We're on a fixed income, we can't afford to give to God, because we're barely making ends meet as it is." All of these reasons why we don't give of our time or talents or finances can be valid for us at various times in our lives. In fact, many of us were once in a better position to give than we are now, but we felt restrained . . . or the opposite could be true . . . . as many of us are in a better position to give today than we've ever been, but we feel hesitant to give of time or talents or of our wealth, because we worry more than ever about what tomorrow may bring.

But let us return to the thought that even the most minute gift we may offer up to God can have explosive(!!) results for God's kingdom. As a matter of fact, we're in need of some miracles around here in terms of the Lord's blessing on us with new families and individuals to join our congregation . . . Here's something from the Science World that is so new and exciting–I think that it is going to change the world we live in – once again!!

Many of you had never dreamed that a man could ride a rocket to the moon and walk on that big light in the sky . . . we saw it happen!!! Many among us never imagined that a letter could be sent to the other side of the world in just the time it takes to type it and push a couple of buttons! We never imagined the possibility that humanity might actually have something to do with changing the way the planet's weather systems work . . . . and we're learning that this might not be such a good thing . . .

Well, putting all of our previous learning and forecasting aside . . . Some of the newest achievements are really going to surprise us because they are not going to originate from huge undertakings or huge new buildings or huge structures – but they're going to come from the tiniest particles we can imagine.

Can you imagine that scientists will change the world with particles that are just the size of a few ATOMS?? This is the developing science of NANOPARTICLES!! To give you some idea of how big a NanoParticle is, a nanometer is a billionth of a meter.

Imagine if you can how big a single whisker hair might grow in the time that it takes between razor stokes if your shaving the beard or – ok ladies, the legs!! Even though my hair seems to grow with great speed . . . even if you're not a scientist, you know that this is an extremely small particle!!

So–what about these little bits of particles?? What's so great and powerful about these little things?? Here's just a couple of examples of where the new NANO TECHNOLOGY is taking us:

The first example is explosive!! Which may or may not be useful to know. But if the Metal, Aluminum, is shaved down into Nano-Sized Particles . . . it becomes explosive!! That's kind of weird, just imagining that your Reynold's Wrap could explode . . . but this new property of AL only happens when the AL is ground down into Nano-Sized Particles and exposed to oxygen. The use of Nano Aluminum could range from excelling the speed of rockets to heating your home!! Possibly the new "Fuel Cell" techonology, which may one day take over for lead-acid batteries, will make a huge advance in powering cars and homes in a new Alternative Energy World.

Now for something important to many of us. Nano-Particles that are covered with Gold are now being introduced into the bodies of Cancer Patients. This might make you feel better about yourself, knowing your now getting enriched with gold inside (perhaps this could be viewed as a material Blessing!!), but, more importantly if you have Cancer, a new kind of therapy is coming on the scene, where Doctors can expose your body to certain light waves which heat up the minuscule gold covered particles that will congregate in cancer cells . . . and guess what?? The Golden Nano-Particles will heat up and kill just the Cancer Cells, leaving your healthy cells alone . . . What a Blessing that would be for so many of us and our loved ones . . .

One more illustration:

Another type of NANOPARTICLE is being developed that can generate electricity . . . and you know this is esp. exciting to me . . . This Nanoparticle contains the elements and structure that work like the solar panels in my back yard, but the fascinating thing about these minute Particles, is that a day could come when a South-Facing Wall of your home could be sprayed with a layer of these particles (applied like paint), and the wall of the house would begin to conduct electricity that could then be directed to household current. And so, we could all become participants in a home-grown energy system as long as the sun is shining!! We would only require supplemental power at night!! What an amazing thing this would be, and so useful and apparently – very inexpensive to do–once the science is perfected . . . .

May God bless the scientists and Doctors who seek to do such things that will make people and the planet healthier@@!!

So, I have said all of this in order that we might be strengthened in our little bit of Faith. Of course many of us give sacrificially to God through our service and tithes and prayers for the church and our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are truly blessed in our giving here at Elias and for this we are most thankful and give the honor and praise to Christ!

But we also find ourselves at times feeling deficient in faith or insufficient to meet the needs of others . . . this is where the Faith of the Woman who Jesus observed comes into play. She didn't have much to give, but she gave all she had!!

Her gift was Small – but her faith was EXPLOSIVE!!! Her TWO MITES didn't amount to much, but God was going to take what she had and multiply it for the building of the Kingdom of God!! We can also be rich and powerful in our giving. And Giving has many forms, which you may ask the Holy Spirit to inform you about.

*By the way, we're always looking for people with energy and ideas to join a Committee or two here at Elias!!

Like the minute adjustment in the man's glasses – we can make a minute adjustment in what we give to God in order to make a huge difference for God's Kingdom. Or like the remarkable research being done with minuscule particles of inumerable substances . . . the many ways in which we can give–whether little of much are going to be blessed and multiplied in the Master's Hands. Yes, "Little Becomes Much, When it is placed in Jesus' Hands, who is our Lord and Coming King.


LORD JESUS, We want for you to bless our small offerings of time, possessions, and devotion. Multiply faith and good works in us. Enable us to give as that Widow lady gave at the Temple when you were there. Please continue to bless us and show us how we might better serve you with all we do, say and give to you Glory!!


Read more writings of Pastor Jon