Our scripture this week is Matthew 22:15-22.
Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
Jesus tells those who will listen not to let worldly issues such as taxes interfere with their connection to God. Our lives seem busy and complicated now, but if we are honest we see that people throughout history have had to reconcile their faith and daily living. The fact that we are so involved in the world means we must focus even more on the promise God gives us and be intentional about our relationship with Him.
18th century English theologian and reformer John Wesley recommended that our faith practice be a regular part of our daily schedule, as important as any other appointment on our calendar. Yet we often find our time with God squeezed into the small empty spaces in our planners. How sad that the Creator of all things gets only the leftovers of our time.
We need to create a habit of connecting with God on a regular basis. Think of time you could spend in prayer each day and write it on your calendar or enter it on your phone. God will be waiting to welcome us whenever we come to Him.
Patient God, we are sorry for how little of our time we spend with You. Help us to live out our thanks for all Your gifts through a regular connection with You. Amen.