What do we owe and to whom?
The leaders of the Temple were trying to be cagey with Jesus…”So, wise Rabbi…what do you tell your disciples, that they should pay taxes or not?” The question had less to do with taxes and more to do with seeing if they could entrap Jesus in some punishable offense.
Jesus tells them, “Give to Caesar those things that are already his and to God, those things that rightfully belong to God.”
So for us, I guess the question is what rightfully belongs to God?”
Lutheran theology would suggest that the answer to that is pretty simple. Everything. Ourselves. Our time. Our possessions, creation…all of it — signs of God’s gracious love for the world.
That presents for Christians a challenge – to shift our thinking from “ownership” of things, including our own lives, to STEWARDSHIP of all that has been entrusted to us.
Jesus pointed to the impression on the coin – an engraved face of the Caesar of the day. We look at our own images and are reminded that in our baptism we have “put on Christ”, it is his cross which marks us and it is the seal of the Holy Spirit which we bear. We are God’s.
Let’s consider together this week, the ways we are regularly giving back to God (and to God’s people) that which God has given us, on loan?
We are given time, our bodies, compassion, patience, love, forgiveness, talents, skills, the ability to learn and grow, our financial resources, empathy, the natural world and all its creatures… how can we best “render” back to God that which is God’s?
Are we being good stewards of all that God has given us? The practice of being in worship regularly is one simple way we act as stewards of our lives, caretakers of our time, the gift of our faith, even our place in the community of believers. Being together sculpts us according to God’s gracious word. Thanks be to God that we have each other to learn what it means to be stewards of what belongs to God! Thanks be to God that we are free to celebrate life –knowing to whom we belong. In life, in death and in our ongoing transformation of faith, we rightfully belong to God.
See you in worship, stewards together!