Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 11, 2013
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 11, 2013
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As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you
for forwarding this to your friends.
Paying religious taxes
"When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the
temple tax came to Peter and said, 'Does your teacher
not pay the temple tax?' He said, 'Yes, he does.'
And when he came home, Jesus spoke of it first, asking,
'What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the
earth take toll or tribute? From their children or
from others?' When Peter said, 'From others', Jesus
said to him, 'Then the children are free. However,
so that we do not give offence to them, go to the lake
and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and
when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that
and give it to them for you and me.'"
Even Jesus paid taxes! This temple tax was an annual
tax on adult Jewish males to support temple sacrifices.
While I am not a Jewish male, I too, belong to a
religious institution that expects a percentage on any
financial gifts and offerings that come through my
ordained denominational ministry. Perhaps I need to sit
with this teaching and its meaning in my own life today.
Jesus not only paid his religious tax in full, but he
generously paid twice the amount that was required.
One commentary suggests, "True children of God do not
need to contribute to the support of God's house." But
as I know in my own ministry, it costs money to turn on
the lights and pay the bills. The money has to come
from somewhere and if God's people fail to give
generously even the best ministries are forced to shut
down and permanently close their doors. When the
economy struggles, even the most faithful people of
God consider reducing their financial contributions to
their local churches, favorite ministries, and other
worthy causes. Yet that is exactly when the needs are
usually the greatest.
Fortunately the gospel is always free and independent
of the economy. I thank God for such a priceless gift
in my own life, and strive to model the generosity of
Christ as best I can.
Our gospel story today is a reminder to give generously
without calculating what's in it for us. While we are
not obligated to give, when we do dig deep in our pockets,
many others are blessed and the world becomes a better
place. Talk is cheap by itself. Sometimes living our
faith requires we pull out the checkbook and write a
larger than usual contribution. When in doubt, err on
the side of generosity and trust God to bless you in the
God, bless me with the generosity exhibited by Jesus.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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