A way to live a mission in the wider world:
Work for government along with all of life to make for a more loving and just world.
A way to live a mission in the wider world based on Matthew 22:15-22, a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, 10/22/17.
[Jesus’ confrontation with the religious leaders of Jerusalem during his last week continues.] The Pharisees and Herod’s backers develop a plan which they think will trap Jesus in his teaching. They begin with complimenting him for treating all people as equals. They ask whether it is (permitted by Jewish law) to pay taxes, Caesar. Jesus knows they mean to trap him and calls them hypocrites. He asks for one of the coins used to pay taxes. He asks whose head is on the coin. The answer is that it is the emperor’s. Jesus says then give the emperor his coin (the tax is owed, not a gift) and give God the things that belong to God (everything including Caesar and the government should seek to serve God’s purposes of caring and fairness for everyone). The leaders are amazed to be confounded by Jesus’ all inclusive teaching that everything (including both the Roman government and the religious of the Jews) are God’s and must obey God’s will. Confounded they leave.
A theme: All of life, including both government and religious practice, must serve God’s will for a more loving and just world.