What is there in this world that we really have? Cars? Homes? Clothes? Food, perhaps? In recent days I have realized that there are lots of things that I call my own but in reality, they are not mine. My possessions are here in this world and they are of this world but they are not mine. Over the years, I have worked and money was given in compensation for that work and with that money bought things like food, clothes, and cars and shared them with wife and family. But none of these things has ever been truly mine for my own possession and consumption.
Jesus challenges us to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to give to God what belongs to God. I believe that this is more than a statement of how to use our money. It is a call to set our priorities straight so that we can do what we can through giving to the world through government while remaining faithful to God in all the things that God calls us to. The problem that we each of us must face is what we really value? And it is more than likely that we are going to value that which we hold dear – the very things I have already described. What is there in your life or in mine that God did not give? We have forgotten to some extent that God knows what we need and what we are going to need. And that is why we so often pray, “give us this day, our daily bread”. It is not just to make sure that the deep fridge is full of the multigrain substance we like to have with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning. It is to stop and acknowledge everything that we have is there by grace and that we are thankful for it.
Moreover, everything that we see that is not ours seems to hold a better value than whatever we have in our grasp. That beautiful movie screen size projector television looks great in the store but what does it really do at home? And it’s not just the physical things like homes, cars and the like. Its also relationships like marriages, with children and neighbours and with important people in the community like political leaders and even Caesar. If we let it, life becomes a constant race to be one up on each other. Doesn’t such ways and life pull us away from what really matters?
Letting go of those things that we think we have in our possession enables us to better stewards of what we have because we know that those same things are not ours but that all belongs to God. So let us remember some simple things that will help us to do just that:
· Remember that we will not be forsaken and forgotten – we are promised this in scripture over and over again.
· Remember that we always belong to God and because we belong to God we have each other.
· Remember to surrender ourselves to God because we are his that his power and grace would be evident in our lives and in the world.
Let us go and let us render, in Jesus’ name.