And He said to them “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's.” (The Table of Duties, Of Citizens: Matthew 22:21
Whose picture is on your money? On American money is it Washington? Lincoln? Jackson? Ben Franklin? What else is on our money? That weird pyramid thing. Maybe an eagle. Everything on that bill or coin says it's United States money. It's not God's money.
Jesus' words remind us that we hold a dual-citizenship. We are citizens of whatever earthly nation in which we live but we are also citizens of Christ's kingdom. In this kingdom, in the “state,” the Lord teaches us to love our neighbor by honoring our government and obeying the laws of the land (at least when they don't teach us to deny our faith). And while we recognize that our earthly citizenship is important, we are also to recognize that whatever country we live in is not synonymous with the Kingdom of God.
After all, you don't go to church to get your driver's license just as you don't go to the driver's services branch to get the forgiveness of sins. That's given in Christ's church where Jesus is Lord and King.
As a citizen of your particular country, you live for the benefit of those around you. As a citizen of Christ's kingdom, you live because Jesus died and rose for you. You likely became a citizen of your country of residence by birth. You became a citizen of Christ's kingdom by birth too, the new birth of holy baptism. In this earthly country, the Lord cares for you by making sure you have daily bread, whatever you need for your body and life. In the kingdom of Christ, He cares for you by the holy food of His Word and body and blood.
In both kingdoms, it is the Lord who is ruling all things for your good and taking care of you. There is no earthly nation that will last forever. But the Lord's kingdom lasts forever. You are a citizen of that kingdom, so that while you live in this earthly country, you can do your duty as a citizen, knowing you are part of a greater kingdom forever.
Lord, keep this nation under your care. Bless the leaders of our land that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to the other nations of the earth. Grant that we may choose trustworthy leaders, contribute to wise decisions for the general welfare, and serve You faithfully in our generation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Collect for Responsible Citizenship)
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