Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Render to God

The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar's.” He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.Luke 20:19-26

Things haven't changed all that much since the time of Jesus. Politicians still play dangerous games with the lives of the people. Jesus was beloved of the people so they had to use subterfuge to try to catch him. We live in a democracy and yet we have elected officials trying to strong arm one another and win the day rather than compromise and serve the needs of the people. The blessings we have as a nation from God are too great to number. God has blessed us, and there is so much to be grateful for, and much to be humble about, willing to be humble and serve others.

Jesus found himself the target of a sting operation within the temple. The leadership hired spies to try to force him to say something that would make him an enemy of the state. He instead, catches them at their own game by encouraging them to honor God and the civil authorities. To pay their fair share, to serve the common good as well as to give their tithe to the temple. We are invited by God to reorder the way we think about our money - as a gift from God and as our means of participating in the common life of the people. All that we have been given comes from God and our thankful response to God is to serve God and the people.

Today I ask God to help me be a servant of all. Help us, in this Advent journey, to walk the humble roads and the darkest byways, seeking out the greatest gifts of God. May we see in one another, the imprint of the Creator, and use the riches we have to the care of all of God's creation. May we let go of politics and opinions and offer our all for the healing of our nation.

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