10 November 2024


Ordinary Time (Proper 27)

Mark 12:38-44

Can We Calculate Our Giving?


Additional Scriptures

Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17; Psalm 127;
Hebrews 9:24-28; Doctrine and Covenants 165:2a, f



Secure a copy of the story to be read during the Focus Moment (purchase or borrow from a local library). See below for three choices.



Sharing Joys and Concerns

Praise Singing

“For the Life That You Have Given"
CCS 619

OR “We Lift Our Voices"
CCS 618 



Prayer for Peace

Light a Peace Candle.


Generous and loving God,

We pause and offer our sincerest gratitude for the privileges and bounty of our lives. We can forget to be thankful; we can become used to the blessings, and we can become desensitized to the hurt and need in our communities, countries, and world.

Make us uncomfortable. Spark in us a fire, that cannot be extinguished, to change systems of oppression. Keep us awake with ideas and actions to bring about a more just world.

Let us see past the grandstanding and displays for power, to truly understand what it means to live your peace and justice and love. To make our whole lives an offering to the cause you call us to. To not be peaceful, accepting the status quo but be peacemakers, actively being your hands and feet to make the world a better place for all.

We forget, Lord, and are sorry. Please reignite our flames for justice. We pray in Jesus’s name. Amen.

Sing of Peace

“Make Me a Channel of Your Peace”                                                           
CCS 605

OR “Companion of the Poor”                                                                        
CCS 296 

Poem: What Do I Give, What Can I Give? See below.

Ministry of Music OR Congregational Hymn

“Can We Calculate Our Giving"
CCS 617

OR “Take My Gifts and Let Me Love You"
CCS 609 

Scripture Reading: Mark 12:38-44

Focus Moment: Story of Generosity

Read A Chair for My Mother by Vera B Williams, Greenwillow Books, ISBN: 978-0688040741. After a fire destroys their home and possessions, Rosa, her mother, and grandmother save and save their coins until they can afford to buy one big, comfortable chair that all three of them can enjoy.

OR The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, North-South Books, ISBN: 978-1558580091. The rainbow fish with its iridescent scales is the most beautiful fish in the whole ocean. But since he is also vain and proud, he becomes more and more lonely over time. Then he realizes that you can’t win friends through beauty. He is a beautiful fish who learns to make friends by sharing his most prized possessions.

OR The Smartest Giant in Town or The Spiffiest Giant in Town, ISBN: 978-0142402757. When George the Giant spies a shop full of wonderful clothes, he decides to treat himself to a new outfit. He puts on his new shirt, pants, shoes, and tie, and is immediately transformed from the scruffiest giant in town to the smartest giant in town. But on his way home, George runs into various animals who need his help. And little by little, George finds himself giving away all his new purchases.


Based on Mark 12:38-44

OR Testimonies

Ask participants to share experiences they have had with generosity leading the way.

Small Group Discussion                                
Print or project the questions for all to see.

  • Who modeled generosity in your life?
  • Where has one of your practices of generosity stemmed from?

Disciples’ Generous Response

Generosity Scripture: Doctrine and Covenants 165:2a

Hymn of Generosity

“Take My Life and Let It Be”                                                                       
CCS 608

OR “From You I Receive”     Sing several times.                                         
CCS 611

Encourage participants to sing in a language other than their own.


Generosity rarely happens by chance. Instead, it is intentional decisions that we make in our lives. It demonstrates willingness to offer every dimension of one’s life to God. There are many ways that people can show expressions of generosity. Over this season of generosity, we will examine some of these expressions of time, treasure, talent, and testimony.

What do you consider a treasure?

A treasure is any valuable or valued item. It can be something that you have placed the value on, or society has deemed valuable. To be able to give treasures one needs to be able to see the treasures that abound around us. This means taking a position of gratitude. By embracing gratitude, we reflect on what we have, what is important to us, and what we actually need and what we can share with others.

When one has gratitude for the blessing of having good health when they are healthy, they can fully embrace the treasure of being well enough to donate blood. When one has gratitude for the food in their fridge, bills having been paid, and money in the bank, they can understand the freedom this allows and how sharing this wealth can allow others dignity and freedom also.

As we share our mission tithes either by placing money in the plates or through eTithing, reflect on what you are grateful for and some of the ways you can share your treasures.

Generosity Scripture: Doctrine and Covenants 165:2f

If your congregation is meeting online, remind participants they can give through CofChrist.org/give or eTithing.org (consider showing these URLs on screen).

Blessing and Receiving of Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes

Sending Forth Hymn

“Send Me Forth"
CCS 651

OR “Make Us, O God, a Church That Shares"
CCS 657 




What do I give, what can I give?

There is nothing in this house,

No food for the children,

Hardly clothes to hide our nakedness.

There is nothing of worth that I could share,

To show God the love I have for them.


What do I give, what can I give?

Law says that I shall give a sacrifice.

That this is how I can show my love for God

But I have no money to give,

No sacrifices to share,

To show God the love I have for them.


What do I give, what can I give?

I see the scribes who offer the best

They wear beautiful clothes, say long prayers

Everyone knows of their love of God

But I have nothing, nothing to give

To show God the love I have for them.


What do I give, what can I give?

I have just two small copper coins

It really is nothing,

It could buy us some food, help with our poverty

And yet I want to share it, to give it to God

To show God the love I have for them.

—Kass Unger




Year B—Letters

Ordinary Time (Proper 27)

Mark 12:38–44

Exploring the Scripture

Jesus had entered the temple for the first time after his triumphant entry into Jerusalem the day before. Until this time, he had ministered in the countryside. He was not considered a threat by the ruling Romans or the religious leaders who yielded to the Romans to save their positions in society. Now that he was in Jerusalem, the religious leaders—who feared the crowds—followed him and began to test Jesus so they could discredit him.

Mark’s chapter 12 shows examples where Jesus confronts religious leaders in the place where they claimed authority, the temple. First Jesus confronted the chief priests, scribes, and elders; then the Pharisees; and then the Sadducees. In this particular scripture, he challenged their generosity. He described not only their lack of true generosity but the manner in which they displayed generosity. He seemed to mock their appearance as they displayed their so-called generosity. He challenged their actions toward the lowest in society, in this case widows.

The actions of the widow in this story pro- vide an example of what it looks like to “give… to your true capacity” (Doctrine and Covenants 163:9). Here the widow gave out of her poverty, meaning she gave the way God gives, from her heart. The scribes gave from what was left over, or out of their abundance. The scribes withheld their generosity. Jesus preached inclusion of all, including widows.

Jesus also used this incident to teach us about God’s generosity. God’s generosity is grace freely given with no holding back (Ephesians 1:6). The scribes withheld grace to the widow and her class. Then they gave only enough to be seen by others as they gave. The widow gave all she could give and she gave it humbly. She was the one who received God’s gift of grace that day. In Malachi 3:10, we see an example of God’s generosity. Here we see it again. The widow brought “the full tithe” and gave according to her true capacity. That caused God to provide grace in abundance to her. By withholding their tithes, the gifts of the scribes did not generate the type of blessing afforded the lowest in the society.

As Jesus sat opposite the treasury, he was able to observe as God’s creation responded to God’s generosity. He witnessed someone, who understood her relationship to her loving God, go to a place where she was not welcomed and to which the religious leaders of the day used her offering as a source of their livelihood. Still, she gave because she knew God would expect nothing more of her. Jesus also witnessed how some withheld from their God and used God’s name to put down others. In a showing of God’s true grace and generosity, Jesus courageously stood by the one who humbled herself even at the risk of giving his life for her welfare.

As you reflect on today’s scripture, you may want to think about examples of true generosity in your life or within the congregation or community. It could be financial generosity, time or talents, or extending grace to others. While this may be a very familiar story, the challenge for us to give to our true capacity remains. Re- view the principles of A Disciple’s Generous Response and imagine the church and the world if all would give to their true capacities! Imagine what can happen to a person’s relationship with God when he or she gives out of a genuine desire to give back to God.

Central Ideas

  1. Jesus invited and received everyone.
  2. The widow did not hold back but gave to her true capacity.
  3. The scribes withheld their generosity and gave only enough to be seen.
  4. God’s grace is received and given in abundance when the “full tithe” is brought be- fore God.
  5. God’s grace is available to everyone.

Questions for the Speaker

  1. If Jesus was to observe the offering at your congregation, what would he see?
  2. How are the lowest in your society welcomed into your congregation?
  3. What excuses do some people have for with- holding their generosity?
  4. As we receive God’s generosity what should be our response?
  5. As you review the principles of A Disciple’s Generous Response (www.CofChrist
  6. .org/disciples-generous-response), how does this story clarify your understanding of these principles?




Year B Letters

Ordinary Time, Proper 27

Hebrews 9:24–28 NRSVUE




Ordinary Time is the period in the Christian calendar from Pentecost to Advent. This period is without major festivals or holy days. During Ordinary Time we focus on discipleship as individuals and a faith community.

Prayer for Peace

Ring a bell or chime three times slowly.

Light the peace candle.

Today’s Prayer for Peace is inspired by the hymn, “Whatever You Do,” Community of Christ Sings 355, by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.

In prisons and jails, Lord, we find a surprise;
we see you in people whom others despise.

Spirit of compassion, we come feeling convicted. We all have those people in our lives—the ones we call lazy when they make more work for us; the ones we call aggressive when they scare us; the ones we call annoying whom we avoid; the ones we call violent whom we lock up. It is in our human nature to push these people, the despised ones, away.

Yet, when we push them away, we push away peace. For in each of these people is you—and how can we know peace without you? You are in each and every person. You are in their relaxation and their passion, in their insistence and in their suffering. Give us courage and an open heart to draw the despised ones close—close enough to see you in their eyes.

In the name of Jesus, who dined and died with criminals. Amen.

Spiritual Practice

Holy Listening

Today’s spiritual practice will focus on the Enduring Principle of All Are Called. All people have gifts to share in community. By practicing Holy Listening, we can learn more about how people are feeling called to share their giftedness and how we can support one another in those calls.

Ask the person next to you to join you in conversation. Find a spot in the room to get comfortable and face one another. You will take turns sharing your stories of how you sense the gifts God has given you and how you feel called to share those gifts. You each will have five minutes to share. During this time the listener will listen and nod, but not comment. At the end of the five minutes, the listener may respond with this one sentence: “I noticed that…”

Then switch places and repeat.

Before you begin, please repeat this prayer with me: “Help me be wholly present to this human being.” (Repeat.)

Start the timer. After five minutes remind the listeners to say their one-sentence response and invite them to switch places.

Start the timer again.

When each person is done sharing, remind the listeners to say their one sentence. Then ask the group to share any insights or reflections on this spiritual practice.

Sharing Around the Table

Hebrews 9:24–28 NRSVUE

For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the holy place year after year with blood that is not his own, for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

This scripture references the ancient Jewish rituals of the temple, particularly when a high priest enters the Holy of Holies annually to offer sacrifices for himself and others. Parallels are drawn to Christ as high priest, who upon his death enters a similar temple, which is the presence of God. Earthly places are imperfect and fallible and are visited repeatedly. Yet the one sacrifice of Christ, made of love for the world, reconciles the world to God’s eternal purposes.

Regardless of the difficulties we face in life, we can find hope, peace, and comfort in the lessons taught by Jesus. Further, we can be that hope for each other. This is what we are commanded to do in scripture: to love God and to love our neighbor as we love and care for ourselves.

As disciples we strive to live and love like Jesus. We offer ourselves in loving service to others. As we do so, we are in essence building the kin-dom of God. We are living and actively participating in salvation, reconciliation, and restoration.


  1. Tell of a time when you shared your talents, skills, or giftedness as an act of loving service.
  2. When have you sacrificed (freely given) something important to you to help someone else?
  3. When has someone sacrificed something on your behalf?


Statement of Generosity

Beloved Community of Christ, do not just speak and sing of Zion. Live, love, and share as Zion: those who strive to be visibly one in Christ, among whom there are no poor or oppressed.

—Doctrine and Covenants 165:6a

The offering basket is available if you would like to support ongoing, small-group ministries as part of your generous response.

The offering prayer is adapted from A Disciple’s Generous Response:

Discipling God, as we navigate our world of debt and consumerism, help us save wisely, spend responsibly, and give generously. In this way may we prepare for the future and create a better tomorrow for our families, friends, the mission of Christ, and the world. Amen.

Invitation to Next Meeting

Closing Hymn

Community of Christ Sings 334, “Though the Spirit’s Gifts Are Many”

Closing Prayer


Optional Additions Depending on Group

  • Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper
  • Thoughts for Children


Thoughts for Children

You will need:

  • coloring supplies
  • copy paper

Say: In today’s scripture we are reminded of how much Jesus loves each of us. Sometimes, saying that God loves us is a lot easier than feeling God’s love. Today, I want to invite you into a practice of feeling God’s love. Afterward, I will send you back to your seat to draw how it felt to experience this love.

To begin, hold your arms wide to your side. Imagine your fingers connecting with the Spirit of God that constantly moves around you. Feel your fingers begin to tingle and spread farther apart as you try to hold God’s love in your hands.

When you’ve gathered as much of God’s love as your hands can hold, bring your hands to your heart and hold them there. As you do, imagine the love of God beginning to fill your body. Imagine God’s love encountering those things within you that make you sad—things you don’t like about yourself or that embarrass you.

As God’s love fills you, imagine it wrapping around each of those things and infusing them with love until they no longer cause pain or sadness. Now imagine God’s love begin to expand within you. As you open your arms back to the world, recognize the growing love of God never leaving you, but expanding into the world to share.

Thank you for trying that practice with me. When you head back to your seat, I invite you to take a piece of paper and some crayons. Once you reach your seat, I want you to draw a self-portrait of how you feel when filled with God’s love. Be creative; use whatever colors and shapes best express your feelings.

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