They were plotting to entrap Jesus. The Pharisees sent their disciples to him and asked him a question about paying taxes to the emperor. As Jesus so often does, he used a question to foil the Pharisees’ plot to trap him. We usually see this in his parables—how he flips...
Thank you, God, for creating us in your image. Help us treat ourselves and others as if this is true. Amen.
Popular images often portray God as a passive grandfather figure. However, this is not the picture scripture provides. God’s presence has a profound impact on the physical world. In Exodus, Moses feels insecure about the calling on his life and asks to see God’s glory. God in part grants this request, but no one can experience the presence of God completely and live. The psalmist describes how God is exalted and how God’s holiness shakes the earth itself. The New Testament readings explore different themes. Paul opens his letter to the Thessalonians by commending them for their faith and partnership in spreading the gospel. In Matthew, the Pharisees attempt to trap Jesus in his words, but he confounds their efforts.
Read Exodus 33:12-23. When have you struggled to believe that God is with you? How did you find a sign of God’s presence?Read Psalm 99. How has God heard your cry? How can you listen with God for the cries of others?Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10. When does your faith call you to live in a counter-cultural way? How do you show the world how to live?Read Matthew 22:15-22. You belong to God. How do you feel God’s call on your life?
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