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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 11, 2013

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 11, 2013 ********** Please check out two new things on our Web site: Our new line of note cards,
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 11, 2013
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 11, 2013

      **********
      Please check out two new things on our Web site:
      Our new line of note cards,
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/Fontaine_cards_pick_list.html
      and our newest book, A More Excellent Way, by
      EXCEL Retreat Ministries, at
      http://www.chirhopress.com/products/product_details/BookRevAMoreExcellent%20Way.htm.

      **********

      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.'"
      Matthew 17:24-27

      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
      process.

      God, bless me with the generosity exhibited by Jesus.
      Amen.

      Grace and peace,
      Chi Rho Press

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