The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Lutherans believe that God continues to make his world go round with people in all seg-ments of society doing their ‘bit’ so that everyone can be fed and clothed, enjoy arts and leisure, and live in peace and justice. Consequently we say that Christians can be found in all walks of life – not trying to make a heaven on earth but working so that everyone can live in peace and harmony, treasuring life and love, and having the opportunity of hearing the gos-pel. Lutherans thus tend to be politically and socially ‘quiet’ – we’re not really revolutionaries – for we pre-fer working within the structures of society – we tend to ‘default’ to the status quo – while treasuring our freedom in Christ to do this and to have differing opin-ions about how best the world should enact peace, justice, and harmony. We struggle with the freedom we have to respond politically because we feel a ten-dency that all Lutherans should be the same but that most definitely isn’t the case as we bring our knowl-edge, points of view, priorities to the table about the current social or political debate or issue. We might even disagree with our government, we may live under a decidedly ‘bad’ one but we still operate with the view that behind it all God is in charge and he’s the one we want to follow – so we may find ourselves fined or imprisoned should the government seeks to claim to be our god. We seek to be obe-dient while we are always observant and critical. We look back over 2000 years to this scene and appreciate – and still struggle with living – Jesus’ words: Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. — GS