Loosening-our-Grip in Love

October 18, 2020

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

Proper 24 – Year A
Matthew 22:15-22

A Flip of the Coin

October 19, 2014

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

Proper 24– RCL Year A
Exodus 33:12-23; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Matthew’s gospel is tough. It was written for a particular audience at a particular time in history. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have something to say to us today, but before we can attempt to understand how it might speak to us, we first have to do the work of understanding what it meant THEN, to THAT audience.

Most of us don’t take time for that kind of work. We hear today’s gospel and interpret it simply to mean that we should pay our taxes, give to Caesar what is Caesars’s, and get on with it. But, it’s not that simple. It’s Matthew’s gospel, so there’s work to do.

But, don’t be afraid, I’m here to help.

Matthew’s gospel is big on RULES and AUTHORITY.

We continually hear stories where the Pharisees challenge Jesus or his disciples about the Sabbath because they are healing people or taking corn from the fields and no one’s supposed to be working. And, a couple of weeks ago we heard the Pharisees asking Jesus, by whose authority John was baptizing people.

For all you rule-breakers out there, we like it when Jesus stirs things up! When he goes against the tradition and challenges the status quo.

And when we hear that the Pharisees are trying to trick Jesus with a question, we love it when Jesus turns the tables on them, and they are dumbfounded! Read the rest of this entry »

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