The reading is from Matthew 22:15-22
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
When they heard this, they were amazed. So, they left him and went away.
The leaders of the faith were always trying to trip Jesus up. They tried to find ways to prove Him wrong so that they could denounce Him and all that He was preaching. Here was a man trying to get people to adhere God's intentions for their lives and the most devotedly religious people were infuriated. They wanted it done THEIR way, not God's way.
We live in a world torn in the same manner. Look out for yourself. Do it this way or you are a bad person. Love these people, but not them, because they are wrong. The Church and the unchurched struggle daily. The Church struggles amongst itself. Each side seeks to be proven right as if that was the most important aspect of Jesus' preaching. It is not about being right. It is about being righteous. And not in some 'holy than thou' way. It is about living a life for the purpose that God has instilled in us. What is that purpose? To love one another as Jesus has loved us. Not to be smarter or holier or in control or better. To love.
Father, help us to lean on you so that we may embrace the love you shower upon us so that we may spill that love onto others. Amen
Chad Ryberg firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Concern: For those who do not see the beauty that God has instilled inside them