Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.’ Mark 14:9
What she has done will be told; but not who she was. Because however important this act might have been, Mark didn’t consider it worth even recording the name of woman who did it.
As he taught, he said, ‘Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes … They devour widows’ houses …’ He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury … A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny … ‘she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.’ fragments of Mark 12:38-44
Is Jesus praising the widow, as we always seem to read this passage? Or, in the light of his condemnation of the scribes just before and the prophecy of the destruction of the Temple just after, could he be condemning the system which had the poor giving to support the luxury of the rich? Is the widow an example to us, or a victim of the corruption Jesus had just described?
This is the normal pattern, which we encourage, because it has been found by generations to be helpful and lifegiving. But we will not impose it as a rule, for we do not have the wisdom to see all possibilities, and we dare not exclude people through our limited imagination of God’s grace.
My comment on a Facebook discussion about baptism, communion, etc.. But I think it has much wider application.