Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Today’s text

Matthew 22:15-22

Then the Pharisees went away to work out between them how to trap him in what he said. And they sent their disciples to him, together with some Herodians, to say, 'Master, we know that you are an honest man and teach the way of God in all honesty, and that you are not afraid of anyone, because human rank means nothing to you. Give us your opinion, then. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not?' But Jesus was aware of their malice and replied, 'You hypocrites! Why are you putting me to the test? Show me the money you pay the tax with.' They handed him a denarius, and he said, 'Whose portrait is this? Whose title?' They replied, 'Caesar's.' Then he said to them, 'Very well, pay Caesar what belongs to Caesar -- and God what belongs to God.'


What belongs to you, my Lord? Or should I say who belongs to you? The Earth is yours and its fullness, and today I wonder about all faces that seldom appear on the front page The hungry, the forgotten, the refugee, the homeless.

I think of those I met in refugee camps and death watches in starving places. I see the children whose haunted faces reflected the horrors of which this world is so terribly capable. Their young eyes knew almost nothing other than hunger and war.

Forbid their faces from fading from my mind, for they belong to you, too. And what is that to me?

Give to God what belongs to God? I cannot give them to you. They are already yours, their names and faces are not hidden from you. You cannot forget them, even when I do.

They are yours, and you would tend them like a loving mother, like a father holding them safe in your shadow. And I belong to you, too.

So your command is clear: Give to God what is God’s. My life is yours, the breath in my lungs, the strength of hand and mind--all of it, yours.

Give them to me, you say. Give them to my holy purpose. And that? Life, full and abundant, generous and overflowing, just like your heart, Holy One.

May I give myself to you with the same generosity that you give yourself to me and all you love. Then, maybe then, my heart will truly be given to you, knowing the freedom for which I long, no longer the frustration of being bound within myself.

Pr. David L. Miller

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