Whenever we buy something, we do a calculation in our heads concerning what it will cost us and what it is worth to us. Different people value things differently. We did a test. We took a look at Picasso’s painting "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust”. The most anyone in St Catherine’s was prepared to pay for it was £200 - a long way short of the $106.5 million that someone else paid for it at auction in 2010!
So, how does God value our financial offerings - be they to a church or to any charitable cause?
Jesus was seated near the Temple treasury, teaching his disciples, while worshippers and tourists made their obligatory financial contributions. He saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins and drew his disciples' attention to it. “This woman has given more than all the others,” he observed. "They gave out of their wealth, but this woman has given all that she had to live on.”
God is not interested in the numerical value of our donations, but is interested in what our offering is worth to us. God doesn’t measure in sterling, euros or dollars, but in love and generosity. When we consider how much to give to a church or charity, it is not enough to look at the numbers; we need to look into our hearts. Often we give just enough to satisfy our conscience. That's not very satisfying. But if we give just enough to put a smile on God's face, we might find that the smile will visit our face too.