Matthew 22:15-22 (NRSV)
Verse 15Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. Verse 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. Verse 17Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?" Verse 18But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Verse 19Show me the coin used for the tax." And they brought him a denarius. Verse 20Then he said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose title?" Verse 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." Verse 22When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.
This week’s theme has been keeping God the main thing. The challenge for us, however, is how to keep God front and center in ALL of our lives. While many say there is a clear distinction between being a person of faith and a citizen of the world, the truth is, as Christians we cannot live in this world void of an intimate connection with God. As followers of Christ we live and act on our faith so as to be and do Christ in the world. It is our faith that leads us to love our neighbor and to act for justice. So as citizens of the world we show up with Jesus’ hands and feet and heart. When we give Caesar what is Caesar’s as good abiding citizens, we are also giving God what is God’s: our love and commitment to be the people we are created to be.
May we, Jesus, always be moved to act with your heart for the sake of your world. Amen.