“God’s Economy, Part One: What’s God’s?”

Today’s sermon is the first of four, which are intended to offer a more comprehensive understanding of Stewardship—something far more than money, pledging and budgets. The series will run through Nov. 15, with a pause on November 1, All Saint’s Day.

Scripture Readings: Jeremiah 29:11-14; Matthew 22:15-22

Our Stewardship season begins today and the theme comes from Jeremiah: “For surely I know the plans I have for you…a future with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11-14—Hope for those in Exile

11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Matthew 22:15-22—The Question of Paying Taxes

1Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. 16 So 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. 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” 21 They 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.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.