20th Sunday after Pentecost
Delivered By
Pastor Scottie
Delivered On
October 18, 2020 at 10:00 AM
Central Passage
Matthew 22:15-22
Subject
Faithful and Free - Part 1
Description

In today’s first reading God uses the Gentile ruler Cyrus to accomplish divine purposes. When the Pharisees try to trap Jesus, he tells them to give the emperor what belongs to him and to God what belongs to God. To gather for worship reminds us that our ultimate allegiance is to God rather than to any earthly authority. Created in the image of God, we offer our entire selves in the service of God and for the sake of the world.

 


First Reading: Isaiah 45:1-7

The prophet announces that Cyrus the Persian emperor is the one the Lord has anointed to end Israel’s exile. The Lord makes this choice so that the whole world will recognize this Lord as the only God. Persia had a god of light and a god of darkness; the Lord claims sovereignty over both light and darkness.

1Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
  whose right hand I have grasped
 to subdue nations before him
  and strip kings of their robes,
 to open doors before him—
  and the gates shall not be closed:
2I will go before you
  and level the mountains,
 I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
  and cut through the bars of iron,
3I will give you the treasures of darkness
  and riches hidden in secret places,
 so that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
  the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
4For the sake of my servant Jacob,
  and Israel my chosen,
 I call you by your name,
  I surname you, though you do not know me.
5I am the Lord, and there is no other;
  besides me there is no god.
  I arm you, though you do not know me,
6so that they may know, from the rising of the sun
  and from the west, that there is no one besides me;
  I am the Lord, and there is no other.
7I form light and create darkness,
  I make weal and create woe;
  I the Lord do all these things.

 

Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Most likely this letter is the first written by Paul. Paul gives pastoral encouragement and reassurances to new Christians living in an antagonistic environment. Their commitment of faith, love, and hope makes them a model for other new Christian communities.

1Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
  To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
  Grace to you and peace.

2We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly 3remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, 5because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. 6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. 9For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.

Gospel: Matthew 22:15-22

After Jesus begins teaching in the temple, religious leaders try to trap him with questions. First they ask if God’s people should pay taxes to an earthly tyrant like Caesar.

15Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap [Jesus] in what he said. 16So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “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. 17Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” 18But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? 19Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” 21They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 22When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.



Comments

10-19-2020 at 10:35 AM
Carol Jane DeGreen
Thanks Pastor Scottie!!!
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