Death and Taxes

It may be a little late to remind you, but this pastTuesday was April 15–national Tax Day. (For whatever it’s worth, it was also National Glazed Spiral Ham Day, which would have been much more fun to celebrate.) I hope you got your taxes filed in time, and that it didn’t hurt too much. Many people I’ve talked to have said they felt the pain of Tax Day this year like never before.

I think it was Benjamin Franklin who first said that only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. This week we were reminded how certain taxes really are. The friendly folks at the Internal Revenue Service are pretty serious about collecting their cut of our hard-earned wages to fund our blessed government’s endeavors.
Perhaps you have heard of the new simple tax form that some have suggested. At the top of the form you write your name and Social Security number. Then there are two lines with the simplest of instructions: How much did you make?and Send it to us.
If you still are trying to get your tax returns finished, here are a few deductions that are not allowed to take. You cannot write off last year’s tax as a bad investment. You cannot claim depreciation on your wife and children. You cannot deduct health club dues as a total loss. And the IRS won’t buy the idea that if you spend it before you earn it, it’s not really income.
Really, there’s not much you can do about taxes but pay them. Even Jesus taught that we are to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But then again, we can also vote to determine who our Caesar will be, depending upon how much he or she wants to tax us. That’s a message for another day.
The good news of this season is that old Ben Franklin wasn’t as wise as he thought he was. Taxes may be certain, but death? Not so much. For believers in Christ, we have hope when it comes to matters of life and death. That’s what this Sunday’s Easter celebration reminds us, that we never have to fear death again.
When Jesus rose from the grave He defeated death–not just for Himself, but for all of us who know Him. “I am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus said. “He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.” (John 11:25-26) .
So regardless of your standing with the IRS, the tomb is empty, and your life doesn’t have to be! I look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we celebrate the good news of the resurrection of our Lord with a great time of worship together at Shelby Crossings. And don’t miss our Good Friday service tonight, at 6:30.
Have a blessed Easter weekend. I’m praying for you.
–Pastor Ken
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