‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s’ (Matthew 22: 21)
This was Jesus’ cleverly crafted reply to a question designed by his enemies to catch him out whatever way he answered: an exchange that would not have been out of place in one of the many pre-election debates that are dominating the media at the moment.
His words could be taken to mean that religion and politics should be kept in separate compartments and not allowed to mix.
God’s business is receiving our worship; Caesar’s is running the affairs of state. But then I remember Psalm 24, with its affirmation that there are no limits to the scope of God’s influence and concern: ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.’
Worship and service to others go hand-in-hand; when we give God what is God’s, that includes doing whatever we can to make God’s world a better and a fairer place; whether through political involvement, or charitable work, campaigning for justice or offering a helping hand or a listening ear to someone who needs them - regardless of their political allegiance or religious creed.
Rev. Dr J Mary Henderson,
Minister of Laurieston linked with Redding and Westquarter Church of Scotland