Reading: Matthew 22:15-22 (Click to read text)
Reflection: In Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race there is a political ad which has people saying among other things that they just can’t wait to pay more taxes. The point, of course, is that the one candidate is going to raise your taxes. And nobody wants to have taxes raised. That evil government is just going to waste your money. They will take it out of your pocket and just plain squander it.
“Give therefore to the emperor (read ‘government’) the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
But, it all belongs to God. Both the Kingdom of God and the civil government of this world are God’s. Even that government that wants our money. In so many ways God uses government and the church to accomplish the same thing. It could be summarized in the idea of social justice. Both government and the church seek to help those who can’t make it on their own. It isn’t too farfetched to say that government is one of the ways that God gets done what God wants done. Sometimes government acts more effectively than the church. Sometimes the secular agencies get much more done than the church does.
Is there waste in government? Of course. Is there waste in the church? Of course. Is either institution perfect? Of course not. Are they both creatures of God? Of course.
There is a lot of government bashing going on. Perhaps for a day we can give God thanks for government and what it accomplishes. --Jim Bricker, Chaplain to Camp Mount Luther’s Summer Staff
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