Sunday, October 16, 2011
All to God
The Pharisees went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?" But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax." And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose title?" They answered, "The emperor's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's." When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away. Matthew 22:15-22
We are enjoying the company of our daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, Lilly. I have been so aware of the blessings of family, the gifts that are so precious, and that are often so undeserved. The beauty and the joy my children bring to my life are
almost indescribable, and I know that I am rich beyond measure in love and family. Too often we count our merit by what we can do or what we own, and yet we are showered by grace and love and we often take them for granted. And yet, on days like today,after the challenges of the past week, I am reminded of that we belong to God and everything we have and are are incredible gifts from a loving Creator.
Jesus was being tested by the religious leadership. They were scholars and powerful spiritual authority and they were angry at the upstart unknown who seemed to understand God so well. They had spent a lifetime of study and political maneuvering only to be overshadowed by a nobody from Nazareth. And in response to their challenge Jesus asked them for visual aids, did not rise to the angry attack, and invited them to know how they greatly they had been blessed by God.
Today, I am grateful for my loving, incredible family and for all the blessings of friends and fellowship that are everyday in my life. May we, who are showered by blessings, use the gifts we have been given to the blessings of our communities. May we who know all we have is from God, give all we are back to God by loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.