Summary: We all have something and this message looks at how we are supposed to treat the things we have
Well, today is the day. You ready? It’s April 30th the last day to get your taxes filed for 2016. Or maybe you’ve already filed. Maybe it depends on whether it you are getting money back or paying money out.
And taxes are a touchy subject for some folks, Politicians are elected or rejected often based on what they promise to do with our taxes. Oh, if we only had every tax cut that had been promised to us by the parties who got elected into power.
A little history here, Canadian Income Tax is a hundred years old this year. It was first instituted in 1917 to help pay for Canada’s efforts in the First World War. When the Canadian income tax act was first printed in 1917 it had six pages. Today it has 1412 pages. In 1917 the average Canadian paid $14.00, that’s in today’s dollars and the total collected represented 2.6 percent of total government revenue. Today the average Canadian will pay $4,120.00 in income tax and the total collected represents over half of the total government revenue.
It was Albert Einstein who said "The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax."
And taxes have been a touchy subject as long as there have been taxes being paid, and that has been for quite a long time. How do you think the Egyptians built the pyramids, or the Mayans built their cities, or the Romans constructed the aqueducts and coliseums?
And as long as there have been folks collecting taxes there have been folks resenting having their taxes collected. Throughout the New Testament the term “Tax Collector” is often used in statements like Matthew 9:10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. Or Mark 2:16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” Nice. And when the religious leaders criticized Jesus one of the charges was Matthew 11:19 . . .‘He’s a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’
So here we are in week last of our Stewardship month. You can all breathe a sigh of relief. It’s almost over.
For those who are visiting with us or new to Cornerstone this is an annual event. Each April I take the opportunity to teach the theology of stewardship, which is a fancy way of saying we look at what the Bible says about money, what got, how we get it and what we do with it after we get it. Nice thing is that means I won’t ambush you about money throughout the year.
And we culminate Money Month with an event we call Step Up Cornerstone which happens today and we will be talking more about that later in the service.
Sometimes pastors choose to not speak about money in church, maybe in hopes that somehow their people will learn about it on their own, perhaps by osmosis. Or maybe it's because they feel that talking about money is too personal or too obtrusive. but Jesus talked a lot about money, he talked about the way people make it and what they do with it after they have it.