Well it’s July 15, revised Tax Day for us! This morning’s devotion referenced Mark 12:13-17; an interaction between some Pharisees and Jesus regarding taxes and the Emperor. You can view that on University Lutheran Church’s Facebook page or here on our University Lutheran YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY1uDwpiq38&t=13s

I’d like to touch on a different aspect of that encounter which I did not address in the devotion, and that is with regards to honest communication and openness to learning. Mark writes “…they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to trap him…” This was not a good faith encounter or an open exchange of ideas and desire to learn. There was a hidden agenda. But Jesus, “knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, ‘Why are you putting me to the test?’ ”

How different that encounter could have been if those particular Pharisees and Herodians had been open to what Jesus was teaching and doing. If they had been able to temporarily set aside everything they knew, or thought they knew, to be open to the new thing God was doing through Jesus.

That’s the opportunity we have from one another. To learn. To grow. To provoke one another to good deeds and to become more like Christ. Thank you for the many ways you are a “little Christ”  (Martin Luther’s phrase from “Freedom of a Christian”) to me and to our neighbors near and far.

God’s peace, justice & hope,

Pastor Jon