Mixing secular and spiritual questions or principles can be a sure way to confusion, because they just aren’t in the same realm. Jesus’ opponents try to trap him with a question about the legitimacy of paying tax to the Roman occupiers. (Mt 22:15-22) And Jesus in his finest fashion gives an enigmatic non-answer, “Pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” OK, great. We can compute taxes, pay them and be done with it. But what do we owe to God? The psalms say – everything, all the glory, all the praise and honor. Incalculable. Jesus gave his life, and we are called to give ours, too. We are accountable to God and to one another because we live in covenant community.
A helping hand, a look of compassion are the works we owe God – they change things. No act of kindness is unimportant. What we owe God is beyond calculation. We will spend our lives living out what we owe, sometimes well, sometimes fumbling and poorly. Or in our self-centeredness, we just may just forget altogether. But that is our call, to live out what we owe to God, in the manner of Jesus. Pay it forward. Pay what you owe.
In gratitude for you — Pastor Carol