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Pastor Tom’s View for April

Pastor Tom’s View for April

April 2018 TaxesTaxes

The month of April, as you know, has a date to which most of us must pay specific attention, April 15th. It is the date that our taxes from the previous years earnings are due to our government. Jesus too had to pay attention to the taxes during his ministry but for a much different reason.
Bill O’Reilly in his book “Killing Jesus” points out that Jesus had a huge problem with what was going on in his Father’s house of worship. O’Reilly states “The slums of lower Jerusalem were packed with families who were driven from their land because they could not repay the money they borrowed from the Temple to pay their taxes”. Jesus got terribly angry with the money changers in the Temple because they were taking advantage of the poor and making them even poorer!
The Temple of course was a sacred place where everyone could come to worship God. However the Jewish leaders, the Temple priests and the Roman authorities were using it as a place for making money at the great expense of others! O’Reilly says that some four million Jews could and did bring in a lot of revenue.
It’s not that Jesus was against paying taxes. When someone once brought a coin to Jesus, with Caesar’s image imprinted on it, and asked him what to do
with it. Jesus answered “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s”. Jesus was being clever of course because it all belongs to God!

New Growth
Photo by Jeremy Bishop

Yes, April is a time for paying taxes, but I’d much rather focus on the fact that April is the time of year when God causes “new life” to spring forth all over the place. God provides not only for new growth in nature, but also new opportunities for spiritual growth in our hearts. That is really what Temples, Sacred Places and Worship Centers and Chapels such as ours are intended to do, cause our hearts to grow closer to God!
Let us focus then this April on what new spiritual growth God can nurture within us. Let us be open to God’s love and Spirit working inside us to draw us closer. And don’t forget, our glorious Easter celebration is April 1st this year!!
May God bless you and all those you love!
Your Senior Pastor, Tom

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