October 17

Matthew 22:15-22

“Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” vs. 

The question the Pharisees asked Jesus is exactly like those heard frequently in presidential debates. It was straight forward, pointed, and called for either a “yes” or a “no” answer–and it was a trap! For Jesus to have answered it would have been folly, so like a skillful politician he evades the question. Most of the issues that we’re  facing as a society are like that. There are massive challenges in education, climate change, healthcare, environment, economy, public safety and international relations, and addressing those problems will require decades of bi-partisan cooperation and mutual sacrifice. There are no easy answers. One thing we do know: the increasing divisiveness, the hoarding of guns and ammunition, the incessant political bickering and name-calling, does not bode well for satisfactory solutions to any of our societal problems! What can followers of Jesus do then? Well of course we will vote–withdrawal from the system benefits no one–but the most important thing we can do is to continue to love one another as fully as we can, and not just those who agree with us politically! We may not be able to change things at a macro scale, but on the micro level, among our friends and neighbors, both blue and red, our caring and helping will make an amazing difference. In the long run, that may be exactly what our world needs most of all.

Thought for the Day: Why aren’t there simple solutions to complex problems?

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