October 18th, 2020

A Question of Loyalty

“Give to God what is God’s.” Matthew 22: 21

When we gather together for dinners with family or friends, (or at least when we used to) most of us have been advised to avoid two subjects, religion and politics. Those two topics can cause conflict and awkwardness around the table because people can have pretty strong feelings and differing opinions about each.

Jesus was confronted by religious leaders, who tried to trick him into speaking against the ruling empire. Jesus knew they were trying to test them, so he turned around their questions to make them confront what was most important to them: politics or religion, government systems or God.

Christians today are still torn between those two loyalties. How do we engage meaningfully in our society and be responsible citizens, and at the same time, proclaim faith in God? How do we put Christ first, even when we have competing loyalties? Perhaps, we can learn from Jesus who said to give to God what is God’s. For us today, that might look like putting our support behind those things that help rather than harm, to causes that bring about justice rather than injustice, to focusing on what we all need rather than just what we want, and to acts of kindness and generosity. When we give to God what is God’s, we honour God and put Christ first in our lives. Thanks be to God.