Ugly power moves.
Irreparable spoken words.
Did that just really happen?
Sometimes it’s easy to think this is our situation. Just America. Just the Republicans or Democrats duking it out with power punches from independents and commentary from Wolf Blitzer. But the outrageous and should-be-unspeakable scenes unfolding aren’t new to history or humanity.
As we begin sipping the richness of this year’s Lent reading, we’re reminded that church and politics and politics and church have always been a messy business. The question of "How now shall we live?" traces millennia before us.
Reading Luke 1-2, (Download FREE LENT READING GUIDE HERE), I’m struck that the insignias of imperial power provide the backdrop for the appearance of Christ.
(NOTE: Click here to download a FREE one-page reading guide of Luke and Acts. or upgrade to the downloadable ebook called The 40-Day Live Lent Challenge: A Color Method Study for Luke-Acts for only $8.99. This 200-plus page booklet includes: a welcome letter, the reading plan, instructions on how to use the Color Bible Study Method, ideas on how to get the most from your study, creative artwork, and space to journal and doodle.)
A fearful word soon appears. One that has stirred dread, fear, and anger since the beginning of time: taxes.
Everyone knew the government’s forced registration of people and property would result in skyrocketing taxes.
But it also meant something more for those who proclaimed fidelity to the God of Israel.
Rome held the power. Money paid served as a sign of allegiance, a commitment to the political lordship. Taxes were a sign of a servitude to an ideology that made the people of God bristle.
The tension they felt. The higher ups they deplored. The politics they couldn’t escape. The frustration they couldn’t shake. Maybe that time in history carries more parallels to today than we realize.
Squint at the opening chapters of Luke: Continue Reading...