Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:20-21)
In today’s first reading God uses the Gentile ruler Cyrus to accomplish divine purposes. When the Pharisees try to trap Jesus, he tells them to give the emperor what belongs to him and to God what belongs to God. To gather for worship reminds us that our ultimate allegiance is to God rather than to any earthly authority. Created in the image of God, we offer our entire selves in the service of God and for the sake of the world. words and actions.
In God We Trust?
In today’s Isaiah reading, Israel’s exile is to come to an end. As we sing our Hymn of the Day, Lift Every Voice and Sing (ELW 841 ), we join our voices in praise and thanksgiving for a road traveled with God through tears. We confirm Jesus’ response in the Gospel to give to the emperor what is his and to God what is God’s in the final verse when we sing of being true to God and our native land.
The Worship Song at New Day Praise service is You Are My All in All. As we sing the words, “You are my strength when I am weak, You are the treasure that I seek, You are my all in all” we proclaim in with our words and our faith, that our God is everything to us — the one in whom we trust.
Home Devotional Questions
- To who and what are you fiercely loyal?
- Do you think of yourself as “bearing the image of God” upon you?
- Do you feel that you are “of the world” or “apart from the world” as a Christian?
- What does “being made in God’s image” mean to you?