“For whatever reason, since humankind showed up on the scene, God does nothing without a human partner.” —Bishop Desmond Tutu —
quoted in “A more Christlike God-a more beautiful Gospel” by Brad Jersak
Take a walk through the Bible and you see the truth of it.
From shy, tongue- tied Moses following God’s initiative to rescue the people of Israel from captivity in Egypt to an arrogant, anti-Christian Pharisee called Saul who worked with God to free people everywhere from the chains of sin and self-centredness. Some joined in willingly, some had to experience the equivalent of being knocked off their horse by a blinding flash that temporarily blinded their physical eyes so they could catch a glimpse of the way things really where.
And, right through history, God has gone on inviting people to work with him in the great ‘project’ of redeeming and restoring people and the world to the way it was meant to be. God rarely chooses to step in and sort things out directly…he chooses to mediate his grace, healing and forgiveness through us.
Jesus who, among other things, walked among us to show what a life lived in partnership and loving relationship with God could look like, is our prime example.
Brad Jersak comments, following an exposition of Acts 2: 2, “When Jesus performed miracles, he didn’t turn on his ‘God switch’ for a few moments, then turn it back off when he went for lunch.Rather, in his humanity, he modelled the life of a mediator who emptied himself so that the power of God’s love could work through him.” (From “A more Christlike God” chapter 8)
God chooses to work in the world through people like you and me, who are prepared to ‘empty themselves’, making whatever sacrifice it may take, experiencing the joys and sorrows of being part of God’s mission in the world.
Today’s reading from Luke’s Gospel is about a bunch of people who appeared to give an enormous amount to God but we’re actually working on a more personal project…their own image and prestige. Then, in contrast, there is a poor woman who thinks she has nothing to offer, but gives it all anyway, demonstrating a love for God and a trust in him that marks her out as one in partnership with God.
 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.  He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.  “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others.  All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on .”
Luke 21:1-4 NIV
The question today, I think, is not about ‘what am I giving to God’…it’s more about who am I investing my time, my money and my life on. Am I busy building my own world or have I truly become God’s partner at work in the world, the cosmos, that he loves through me?