And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk. And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him. Mark 12:13-17
Whatever the case, today you have an opportunity to soak in a practice of thanksgiving. Regardless of how this story in the gospel hits you and whatever your political allegiance, may you engage your heart in gratitude today. You can use this prayer or create your own.
Lord God, you are the creator and sustainer of all things. You are over all things and above all things. From you all things have their life and being. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you for the very breath you gift me with each and every day. I recommit today to give you my whole self: my mind, my heart, my body, for these are yours already. I thank you for the resources you have blessed me with. I pray for those in leadership in my community and country to use the money given in taxes for kingdom values. Thank you for freeing me from worry about where my provision comes from; I trust you to provide for my every need. May I continue to respond with repentance and thanksgiving as I look for how you are at work in the world around me.
By Ellen Rosenberger