To pay or not to pay – a question about tax!

From Matthew 22.15-22

The religious leaders wanted to trick Jesus, so they asked him about whether it was right to pay tax to the Roman Emperor. If he said ‘yes’ all the Jews would hate him, and if he said, ‘No’, then all the Romans would hate him.  Jesus showed them that it was the Emperor’s image on the coin, and he said, ‘Give to the Emperor what is his, but give to God what belongs to God.’

Jesus was asking them to remember where we can find God’s image: we find it in ourselves and in everyone God made.  ‘God made humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them’ (Genesis 1.27).  Jesus says that we have to give our whole selves to God.

Look at some coins – notice whose picture is on the coins (in the USA you will find lots of former presidents, and also Susan B Anthony, in the UK you will find the Queen), and what the writing says: in the USA it will be ‘In God we trust’, and ‘E Pluribus Unum’ (Many, we are one).  But none of the people on our coins thought they were God, like the Roman Emperor did!

Make a giant coin
Make a giant coin out of a paper plate.
26th October 2014 008On one side draw a self portrait, and on the other side stick a small mirror (these are generally available cheaply from good craft stores), and around it write words or draw pictures that express how your are made in God’s image – the things about you that are special and unique and good, and give glory to God.

If you want a larger mirror to put up in church, then you might like to decorate the frame with finger prints – everyone who comes could be invited to add theirs (using an ink pad from a stamping set) – you could add the words, ‘Though we are many, we are one body’.

Praying with your mirror-coin
Notice that if you tilt your paper-plate mirror you can make it show yourself, or the person next to you, or the world outside (through a window) – ask God to bless whatever you can see in your mirror.

Sharing the story
Craft shops often also sell tiny round mirrors, perhaps only an inch across, in packs of 10 or even 25.  If you enjoyed the story of the coin and the tax, and thinking about how you are made in God’s image, then why not share the story with your friends, and give them their very own coin-sized mirror, to carry in a purse or keep by their bed to use in their prayers?

So, the big question is:
How do we see God’s image in ourselves and in others?