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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Oct 09, 2014 | Comments (0)


Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.

All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. He is the complete revelation of God’s will of grace for salvation. Grace is the only unfailing rule of faith and practice for the Christian life.

The Gospel of grace is: rather than trying to be more faithful to become faithful, we become faithful by feeling the Faith God already has for and in us.

The Strength of Christianity is Grace

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Another name for Jesus is "Grace". Another name for God is "Grace". We are saved by GRACE. "Love" is not Love if it is not grace. This is true for "Faith", "Hope", "Joy" and all other theological words of significance in the scripture.

Until someone experiences the grace gift in their lives, all other theological words have no real meaning. Why not begin to use the word "grace" in place of "Jesus", "God", "the Spirit", "Love" and so on? It might seem inappropriate to do so. However, until it is actually experienced it will make no sense at all.

That is what this year is all about. Grace, did you get it?

 

Intel inside: We have a wisdom within, we do not have without.

Pray this prayer from the Collect for this Sunday:

“Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works.”

Now quietly move into God's Presence and pray the prayer again:

“Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works.”

Did you feel the difference?

 

Matthew 22:15-22 “Render”

Background: Following Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem He goes to the Temple where they are selling sacrificial animals and changing money. He casts them out and cleanses the Temple. The very next day He is back teaching in the same temple. The religious leaders are furious with Him. He has set His death. It is only a matter of time. They have their man. They need the evidence. They are here to trap Him.

First, come the lay Pharisees to trap Him. They start by praising Him for His courage. It took courage to do that in the Temple. “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?”

That is a no brainer. Either way He is trapped. The emperor is considered as a God. If you pay taxes to him you are supporting a false God. That is why it is illegal to bring Roman coins into the Temple. They have the image of a false god on them. That is why there are money changers at the Temple doors. The sacrificial animals inside are pure. The animals could be bought at the market place for half the price but those inside are guaranteed to be pure. Of course you cannot bring the Roman money into the Temple. You need to change your money for shekels. There is no use for this money, except inside the Temple. It can be priced at any value the money changers wish. It always costs more than it should. When you come in for your sacrificial Passover Lamb you have to pay four or five times more than it is worth.

Jesus is aware of their malice. Think of how we feel when someone is contorting our words, making them sound illegal and trying to embarrass us in front of others by our reaction. We tend to become angry. What we want to do is to control our anger. We do this well for a short time. Yet the anger is always there. Here comes one of those “That Does It” moments and then the anger takes over.

Being in the Presence of Jesus does not control our anger. It transforms it into Peace. The anger no longer exists. It is transformed into His Love, Peace and Joy, not about what is happening, but in what is happening.

In the Presence of God’s Peace, Jesus challenges them to make them aware He knows what they are doing. It is the shot over the bow. He calls them hypocrites.

Then He moves suddenly. “Quick, show me the coin used for the tax.” And they show Him a denarius. This means they pay taxes to the Emperor. He then challenges them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answer, “The emperor's.” GOTCHA!

Remember this is all done in the Temple where these hypocrites did not change their coins before they came in. This is the end of the story. Need I say more?

Alright we can give it the old, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Whatever that means you tell me. When it is over, it is over.

When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away. It was payoff time.

“Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works.”


THE DISCIPLE-SHIFT: The Virtual Small Group: Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.


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