“So That We Do Not Give Offense to Them”
We thank you, God, for the freedom that comes from being your children. We thank you that while we live in the world we are not bound by the ways of the world or the expectations of the world. We thank you that our citizenship is first and foremost in the kingdom of heaven.
We thank you, also, God, for the example of Jesus that inspires us not to use our freedom as an opportunity to run roughshod over the concerns of others who do not share in our freedom.
Teach us not to use our freedom to offend others unnecessarily.
Teach us to use our freedom to be in the world but not of it.
Teach us to use our freedom to love others.
“When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and said, ‘Does your teacher not pay the temple tax?’ He said, ‘Yes, he does.’ And when he came home, Jesus spoke of it first, asking, ‘What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their children or from others?’ When Peter said, ‘From others,’ Jesus said to him, ‘Then the children are free. However, so that we do not give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that and give it to them for you and me.’” (Matthew 17:24-27)