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As I write, the prime minister has stepped down. The process for the Conservative party to choose a new leader has begun. The candidates are making their speeches. Articulating why they should be the next leader and therefore, Prime Minister. Some candidates are seeking to build up their connection with the current Prime Minister. Some are distancing themselves. There is speculation. Pacts are being made. Alliances are being formed. Is it all Shakespearian, or perhaps Machiavellian, or perhaps heading towards Sun Tzu and the Art of War?By the time you read this there may well be a clear successor.
Back a few millennia ago in a land occupied by a hostile invading Roman force, Jesus enigmatically declared, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s”. Some powerful people had tried to trick Jesus, they’d tried to set him up for treason, get him to rally against the emperor. But Jesus took a coin bearing the face of the emperor and asked, “whose face and inscription is on this?” “Caesar” they replied sheepishly. Which is when Jesus responded with that killer line, “Give to Caesar….”
His unspoken point would have been all too clear: give to the world what is owed to the world. Give to the human authorities what is owed to the human authorities. But don’t get mixed up. Give to God what is God’s. Everything is God’s so…. Human authorities come and go, live and die, but God goes on and on and on….. Know on which side your bread is buttered.
Amid all the political speculation it’s comforting to know that God is God, always was God, and always will be God. Amen.