In this weeks Gospel reading, Matthew 22: 15-22, the Pharisees are plotting a way to have Jesus say something damaging. They ask him a question about paying taxes. Jesus then asks the Pharisees to show him a coin. Jesus asks the Pharisees who’s image is on the coin. They answer “the Emperor’s.” So Jesus answers them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that the the emperors and God the things that are God’s”. This is not the answer the Pharisees were looking for.
Jesus noted that the coin was stamped with the image of the Emperor. With who’s image are we “stamped”? Genesis 1:27 says “So God created humankind in his image.” We are God image. Do I reflect God’s image” Am I giving back to God the things that are His? Being created in God’s image and trying to reflect that image is a tall order. It’s often hard to love others as myself when others do horrible things. As said in the Prayer of Confession, I often do things I shouldn’t do and then neglect to do the things I should do.
How can I give back to God, that which belongs to him? How can I reflect God’s image? Father Gary challenged us, during this time of Stewardship to increase our giving by 20%.The math is easy to figure out a monetary amount to give back to God. But, how can I increase my actions by 20%. I came up with a “To Do List” of ways to “give back to God what is God’s.
Ways to give back can include-
- Volunteer Time and Talent at Our Savior Center
- Become a Greeter or Usher
- Join the Choir (pray twice by singing)
- Help the Incarcerated by Volunteering with PRISM
- Participate in Bible Study
- Help with Children’s Sunday School
- Share time with the Youth
- Serve as a Lay Reader or Eucharistic Minister
- Help in the church office
- Help with Jubilee Homes/Transitional Housing Ministry
- Volunteer at Our Savior Center’s Food Bank
- Visit the Sick or Homebound
- Weed and Plant the Grounds at Church
- Develop an Intentional Prayer Practice: A time to listen to God.
Make your own list, find a way that you can reflect God’s image or give back to God what is already God’s.
I pray that others will see God’s image in me. To paraphrase an old Vacation Bible School song, “I pray that others will know I am a Christian by my love.”