October 22: The Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

The Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews is the vicar of St. Hilda St. Patrick. The sermon for October 22, 2023 was preached in response to Matthew 22:15-22 based on the notes below.
  1. Jesus is establishing that spheres of church and state are separate, but not that they’re equal. God’s expectations are higher.
  2. Cleansed temple already, money changers, house currency, profits
  3. Still able to find a coin quickly with a graven image
  4. Jesus is basically saying “If Tiberius wants a few denarii, give them gladly, because giving them up will remind you that a person’s life does not consist in the abundance of their possessions. What counts above all else is living in accordance with the Father’s will.
  5. These are taxes not tribute, and Jesus is finding a third way between revolt and submission
  6. Call to give all of life to following God
  7. All things come of you, O Lord, and of your own have we given thee. 
  8. Year round stewardship, lifelong stewardship. Treasure to church and other places. Time and talent as part of vocation. Time spent knitting caps for seafarers or blankets and shawls. Talent to do the same, talent to organize events or host gatherings.
  9. One of the primary purposes of worship is to invite the gathered assembly to participate in the advance of God into the world, the kingdom of God at hand. Eating and drinking that leads to a dismissal into the world.
  10. God, not Caesar, not the United States, is sovereign. Giving to the empire what is theirs already – but giving to God what is God’s, and letting go of what gets in the way.

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