How does that old saying go… something about death and taxes? It seems Jesus had to deal with them as well. But instead of whining about it or letting the Pharisees trip him up and get him into trouble with Rome, Jesus walks a very important line. A line that we still confuse all the time.
The kingdom of God doesn’t look like Rome, it doesn’t have royalty on its coinage, in fact, the currency of the realm has an entirely different image set upon it. That image is the imago Dei, the very image of God reflected in and on us. This currency is to be spent in loving service to neighbor. We are called to hunger for those things that enable us to serve, trusting that God will provide. We are in many ways like the chicks in our picture today; we receive God’s graceful provision in all things as a gift that feeds and nurtures us to grow into our likeness in Christ.
I will have you note one thing though, at some stage we too will be able to leave the nest. Yes, our food and all we need for daily life is graciously provided by God, but at some point we need to spread our wings and fly. We are each given gifts of faith that need to be exersized, or they go for not. If we only hunger for baby food will we ever risk leaving the nest to explore the great and beautiful creation that is out there given for us to live in?
We live in two kingdoms. The kingdom of this world, with its beauty and brokenness and the Kingdom of God with its wholeness and completeness. Here is a funny little thing I was taught some years ago. When Jesus talks about rendering unto Ceasar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s is a bit of humor on Jesus part. Just ask yourself what does Ceasar own now?
Stumped? Well nothing, not even his self, he is and has been for a long time, dust.
What is God’s? Well as creator, everything including those things Ceasar thought were his. If we hunger after the things of this world; wealth, power, prestige we will be stuffing ourselves with spiritual junk food and we will always be hungry.
However, if we hunger after the things of God, loving service, grace, mercy, and peace then we can be satisfied. These are the things that last; that make a difference in this world. They may not get written up in the history books, but they are what makes the world go round as it were. Yes it may seem that the only certain things in life are death and taxes, but even in these things God can do his will until his kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven.