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The Most Generous Gift
Read or tell the story.
In a little village near Jerusalem , a long time ago, there was an old woman who didn't have much money. She grew her own fruit and vegetables and had a chicken that gave her eggs.
One day, she was walking down the road when she saw two copper pieces on the ground. They looked like pennies, but together they were worth even less than one penny.
She put them in her pocket. "I will buy a piece of bread with this," she thought.
A few days later, she heard from her neighbors that a teacher named Jesus would be speaking in a worship service at a nearby temple. She thought it might be interesting to go to the service and listen to this teacher.
When she got to the temple, many people had gathered to hear Jesus. Some people she recognized, and some she did not know at all. Some said "Hello" to the old woman and a man moved over so she could sit on a bench with him and his family.
At the service, she prayed and listened to Jesus speak. She found herself feeling full of love and wonder.
[You may wish to ask the children:
What do you think she heard that made her feel full of love?
What would make you feel of love?
Have you ever felt full of love here in our congregation? When?]
There came a part of the service when Jesus asked people to donate money to support his ministry. There were people who were very rich and they donated a lot of money. The old woman reached into her pocket and found the two copper pieces, the only money she had in the world. She walked up to the donation box and put in one of the pieces, half of all the money she had.
[Ask the children:
Why do you think she did that?]
Jesus saw the old woman put her coin in the box, and he knew what she had shared.
He told the people assembled that her gift was more special than any of the gifts given by the rich people there. She had given half of all the money she had. Jesus encouraged people to be generous always. To be generous not only with money, but also to be generous with their hearts.