From the Desktop of the Pastor – week of the 20th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi all,

So my oldest son Ryan’s teeth have been dropping like flies (if flies were to drop on average once a month).  And while the guy is like 8 years old, he still expects the tooth fairy to come and give him money for his teeth.  What is weirder still, he is fully aware that there is no such thing as the tooth fairy.  He knows that it is just us who swap that tiny tooth in a ziploc bag for a loonie.  But yet he expects it to happen.

So much so that when we forgot to give him the money last week, he was a bit upset.  He mentions sadly that the tooth fairy didn’t come.  We said whoops, yeah.  He said, you forgot to give me my money.  And we were like, fine fine maybe you’ll get it tonight instead.

We forgot again.

At least, we forgot until it popped in my head at around 6am.  I made a mad dash around the house to find some loose change.  I couldn’t.  So I dropped a $5 bill under his pillow instead, and I couldn’t even find the tooth.  My searching around for it woke him up.  He felt the bill, and smiled.

I think I’m going to take the bill back later when he isn’t looking.  That tooth isn’t worth $5 at all (maybe $2, $2.50 at the most).

The readings for next week are:
Isaiah 45:1-7
Psalm 96
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Matthew 22:15-22

“Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” How do we do this?  What does it even mean?  How do we differentiate what belongs to the emperor (or perhaps in our case the government), and what belongs to God?  I mean, doesn’t technically everything belong to God?

Well, yeah.  And that is probably the point.

While the Pharisees wanted to trap Jesus in siding with either God or the government, Jesus throws the question back at them and makes them wonder why they even care so much.  While the government might have jurisdiction over our taxes, they don’t have jurisdiction over our hearts.  They can make rules and enforce them, but they cannot change who we are.  They can seize our material possessions, but they cannot take away our identity and worth.

I guess what I’m saying is that even though Ryan knows there is no tooth fairy but was still hoping to cash out on the benefits of there being a tooth fairy, that doesn’t change his own value and worth as a goofy kid.  It was almost like he felt the more money he gets, then the happier he would be.  But the money he receives from a fictional character doesn’t determine who he is and how much he is loved.

So the money cannot change who we are or what is in our hearts.  But in submitting to the Word of God and trusting in God’s promises does change us.  Essentially, giving God what is God’s is allowing ourselves to be changed, to be renewed, and to be strengthened to be God’s children in the world.  While we pretty much have to put value on money and currency in this day and age, our true value and worth comes from God’s love, welcome, and regard as members of God’s community.

Have a great week, everyone!

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