Today’s Readings for the Daily Office
Psalm 20, 21:1-7(8-14) (Morning)
Psalm 110:1-5(6-7), 116, 117 (Evening)
Pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s and To God what is God’s
Well, here we are in the midst of Advent, which can be a remarkably introspective time in preparation for the incoming of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, many in our society are seeking to use this time to balance their spreadsheets with various “black” activities. Some are agonizing over which teams have made the playoffs, who our new coach will finally be and how in heaven’s name will we be able to afford this year’s Christmas expenses.
Some answers appear in today’s readings. In the passage from Matthew’s gospel, Jesus befuddles the Philistines who are trying to trap him into owing taxes to the King by admonishing them to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. In A Letter from Jude, the author of this very short epistle asserts that the people who “mock at religion and follow their own ungodly lusts…are worldly and unspiritual. But you, my friends, must make your sacred faith the foundation of your lives.”
Whew! Hard words. Serious challenges. Well, here are a few words, as a matter of fact the entire Psalm 117 (the shortest in The Bible), which can provide some guidance when our worldly lusts and worries seem to overwhelm us.
Praise the Lord, all nations, extol him, all you people; for his love
protecting us is strong, the Lord’s faithfulness is everlasting.
Praise the Lord
Written by Doug Cummins, Ph.D.
Doug is Professor Emeritus (that means I’m retired) of Furman University, sings in the St. Paul Choir, is a lay reader and chalice bearer, and has recently completed a book entitled Taking Medieval Theatre from the Page to the Stage.