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Homilies by Rev. Andrew Collis unless indicated otherwise.

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Homily with the children

Ordinary Sunday 29, Year A
South Sydney Uniting Church
October 19, 2014

Psalm 96; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 22:15-22

‘More precious than a coin’

In our gospel story today some people try to trick Jesus. They ask him whether the people should pay money (taxes) to the Romans who control their country. If Jesus says, “Yes”, then some will say that he doesn’t understand how the people are suffering under Roman control. If he says, “No, don’t pay your taxes”, then others will say that he is a dangerous teacher who should be arrested by the Roman police.

How do you think Jesus feels about these people who want to trick him? How would you feel?

It’s hard for Jesus to give an answer because he knows they just want to trick him. But he gives a good answer anyway. It’s a wise answer.

Jesus asks the people for a coin. It has an image of the Roman emperor/king’s face on it and also some words about the king being a lord which means being the highest authority, the one in charge of everything ... the land, the water, the temple/church, the people ...

Coins in those days were similar to the coins we have. Let’s look at some. Jesus asks whose face is stamped on the coin? The answer they give is ...?

Then Jesus says: ...?

Whose face is stamped on our coins? What might Jesus say to us?

What do you think this teaching of Jesus means? What should we give to the king or queen? What should we give to God?

Jesus shows the meaning of what he says by the way he lives. He gives all his thanks and all his life to God. He doesn’t believe that the king or queen is in charge of everything. He knows that many things the king or queen does are wrong. He prays to God and trusts God.

There’s one other thing we could say. Jesus knows the story from the Bible about the creation of the world where it says that all people are made in the image of God. This means that every person all kinds of different people show what God is like. Coins have the face of the king or the queen imprinted on them, but God’s face is seen in the faces of all kinds of people. Young and old, large and little, pink and brown, strong and not so strong, rich and and not so rich, happy and lonely people.

Jesus makes time for people, he spends his time with people especially the ones who are sad or sick because he loves them and believes that God loves them too.

A person is much more precious than a coin. Do you think that’s true? Why? What else is more precious than a coin? Why?

Amen (we agree!).