Welcome to Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church
Where the love of Christ builds a harbor of acceptance, inspiration,
Fellowship, service and joy.
You enrich our worship with your presence.
"When we say welcome we mean it!"
It is not possible to pass the collection plate at our live home church.
Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church
c/o Monty Rice
1298 Warren Rd.
Cambria, CA 93428
If this is your first time here, WELCOME.
Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church-PCUSA
2700 Eton Rd. • Cambria, CA 93428
Call or text 805.395.1521
CURRENT PRAYER LIST
Members of our community that are lonely, hungry and sick.
If you would like to support the work of Safe Harbor Church financially:
Tax deductible checks may be made to Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church.
During our period of isolation, please mail checks to:
Monty Rice 1298 Warren Road Cambria CA 93428
WHEN WE SAY “ WELCOME! ”, WE MEAN IT!
Prelude Deborah Farrand
At the tolling of the bell, please quietly prepare your heart for worship.
Meditation Music Deborah Farrand
Welcome and Announcements
† Call to Worship (From Psalm 99)
Leader: The Lord reigns.
People: Let the nations tremble
Leader: He sits enthroned between the cherubim.
People: Let the earth shake.
Leader: Great is the Lord;
People: He is exalted over all the nations.
Leader: The King is mighty. He loves justice.
People: The Lord has established equity.
Unison: God is holy. We exalt the Lord, our God. We worship him.
† Prayer of Adoration (Inspired by 1 Thessalonians 1; read in unison)
We thank God for the ancestors of our faith and their labor prompted by love and
their endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. God has chosen his people.
The Gospel comes not with words but with power, with the Holy Spirit and
deep conviction. The message is welcomed even in the midst of suffering with a joy
given by the Holy Spirit. Like those before us let us become imitators of the Lord
and a model to all. In his name we give praise and pray. Amen.
†Hymn of Adoration # 307 God of Grace and God of Glory
Prayer of Confession (In unison)
Great God of Grace, we are a broken world and warring people. We have hardened
our hearts, closed our minds, and turned our back. We ignore the weak, hurting,
hungry and lost. We treat ourselves and do not share as we should. We’ve become
impatient. We forget your promise and we fear. We hold grudges and do not forgive
as we can. And now we offer our personal confession…
(In unison) Lord please renew us. Make us reconcilers and beacons of your light and
Assurance of Pardon New Creations in Christ
†The Sharing of the Peace
Special Music My Song is Love Unknown Soloist: Michael Green
Hymn of Preparation #452 Open the Eyes of My Heart
Leader: Listen for the Word of God.
People: Our ears are open and our hearts are ready to receive.
Scripture: Matthew 22:15-22
Leader: The Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
Sermon: Sheltering in Grace, Serving in Place Rev. Eugenia Gamble
Hymn of Response #692 Spirit Open My Heart
Call to Prayer: Hymn #466 Come and Fill Our Hearts with Your Peace
Prayers of the People
The Lord’s Prayer
Response to Prayer Hymn #710 We Are an Offering
Prayer of Dedication
† Hymn of Parting # 708 We Give Thee But Thine Own
† Charge and Benediction
The Rev. Eugenia A. Gamble
Tom and Lana Cochrun
Monty and Julia Rice
Tricky Questions…..Matthew 22:15-22……October 18, 2020
Matthew 22:15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said.
16So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying,
“Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in
accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard
people with partiality. 17Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes
to the emperor, or not?” 18But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you
putting me to the test, you hypocrites? 19Show me the coin used for the tax.”
And they brought him a denarius. 20Then he said to them, “Whose head is this,
and whose title?” 21They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them,
“Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God
the things that are God’s.” 22When they heard this, they were amazed; and they
left him and went away.
Background: The people in authority are becoming more and more nervous about Jesus. His teaching upsets the status quo and his popularity with ordinary people is growing. Immediately after Jesus’ pointed parable about the wedding banquet, representatives of two influential groups come to him in a public place with a trick question. Rarely could you find more uneasy bedfellows than the Pharisees and the Herodians. Just about the only thing they held in common was their disdain of Jesus. The Herodians were a priestly group whose power based was formed largely from making strategic alliances with the Roman occupiers. The Pharisees were a fervent group of lay people who were interested in a strict adherence to the law of Moses and saw themselves as keeping the zeal of the Old Testament prophets alive. For the Pharisees, the compromises with pagan Rome of the Herodians were unthinkable.
Taxes in Jesus’ Day: Then as now, taxation was a big issue for Jewish citizens. There were a number of different kinds of taxes depending on the kind of rule in the particular Jewish province. There were land taxes, poll taxes, import taxes and taxes for the operation of the Temple. It was common for a Jew to pay 40% or more of income in taxes and religious dues. The particular tax referred to here was the per capita tax that all Jews had to pay to Rome to support the government. The tax was equal to about a days wage and had to be paid in Roman currency. Some Jews coped with this as a matter of daily living, appreciating at least some of what the government offered to them. Most, though, greeted the thought of paying this tax to the pagan emperor with emotions ranging from irritation to downright insurrection. To make matters worse the coin that had to be used to pay the tax had an image of Caesar Tiberius on it and carried the deeply despised inscription, “Tiberius Caesar, august son of the divine Augustus and high priest.” Many pious Jews refused to even carry these coins, claiming that to do so was blasphemy.
What is at stake here? The Pharisees and the Herodians want to discredit Jesus so they come up with a plan to trick him in public. Rabbis at this time often honed their theological and debate skills by posing tough questions and answering them for each other. This question, however is no win. If Jesus says yes, which in a way he does, that taxes should be paid to Caesar then he risks alienating his base almost completely. If he says no, he risks being arrested by Rome as a dangerous political agitator.
Vs. 16 – We know that you are good….this is clearly insincere flattery designed to throw Jesus off and disarm him. It almost seems tongue in cheek. NT scholar Tom Long says it meant something like, “Ok mister truth-teller who never shies away from controversy, handle this hot potato.”
Vs. 17 – Is it lawful – they want to know if the Torah, the law of Moses, speaks to this head tax and allows it to be paid.
Vs. 18 – But Jesus, aware of their malice – literally: knowing the evil of them.
Hypocrites – we see much more use of this word in later chapters. It comes from a word that originally referred to actors playing a part. Later it came to be associated both with play acting and insincerity, particularly to make oneself look better.
Vs. 19-20 – Gotcha! Jesus asks them to produce the coin in question. They do so, showing that they carried the coin that the pious spurned. Jesus did not have one. They had already made their accommodations to Rome, even while vocally refusing to do so.
Vs. 22 – amazed – troubled, in awe, dazed, undone.
Questions for Personal Reflection
1. When you think about the role of government in your life, for what services are you most grateful? Roads? Schools? Public safety?
2. When Jesus says to give to God what belongs to God, what do you think he means? Are there things to which God does not have a claim?
3. Are there any ways that you find yourself trying to find wiggle room in Jesus’ teaching? Have you ever felt others trying to trip you up about your faith? How did you handle that?