“Giving to God the Things That Are (Already) God’s”
Jesus manages to stay centered and clear, continually keeping those who would challenge him off-balance by answering their questions with questions, all the while proving again and again that they are, in fact, asking the wrong questions altogether.
This dramatic moment in Matthew’s Gospel is not only about taxes, is it? Indeed, all of life is a constant negotiation for all that we have and all that we are and certainly that by Jesus using the example of the emperor’s face on a coin, he is actually pointing to all of this — to all those things which compete for our obedience and our loyalty today.
What part of me — my gifts, my resources, my time, my energy — do I give over to whom? For instance…
- How do you spend your money, your time, your energy, your resources, your gifts to reflect the truth that all of it and all of us have been imprinted with the very image of God? What would it look to take a personal inventory of your life — starting perhaps with your priorities or your calendar? What might that reveal?
- What might you discover as you look over the past week or month and considered how many times your actions or lack of actions were motivated by fear and not courage, despair and not hope? And how does that reflect the truth that all of it and all of you belongs to God? That you bear the very image of God?
Don’t expect we will ever get it perfectly right, which is why we are grateful to be able to rest on the promise of grace and forgiveness. What it means to seek to live a life of faith — to be striving to give back to God what already belongs to God and day by day to work out what that means. And that means all of me. That means all of us together. All the time. (excerpt from dancing with the word)