22 Feb

Good morning,IMG_20120704_093107

Paul is wrapping his letter to the church at Rome.   In these last three chapters he is putting in final admonishments.  ‘How to play well with others’ could be a title.  Or as someone recently paraphrased the concept of the 10 commandments; ‘don’t be a dick rules’.

Paul is a Jew who has become a Christian who has Roman citizenship.   He has been beaten, arrested, imprisoned, and tells his readers to be good citizens. Go figure!

13 1-3 Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.

3-5 Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.

6-7 That’s also why you pay taxes—so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders.

I believe most people reading this blog are Christian who are American citizen.  We have no reason not to follow Paul’s advice.  Yet, I think we should also make whatever impact we can on a system that does not often care for the last and the least.  So, I would add to Paul’s list of things to do, Vote.  Vote every time you can and vote for people who will carry forward the gospel into our public lives.   And if you have the wherewithal to be involved in public life, use your gifts to let the Divine Presence bring its creative grace to our world.

Paul makes it clear that God’s concern is for all of the Divine creation.  That includes people, animals, water, other resources and the very planet we inhabit.  I think Paul’s instruction is not just keeping out of trouble, and not just doing what we should as good citizens, but also making a difference where our gifts and talents can be used for a better way of life for all of God’s precious creation.

Peace,

Mary

 

 

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One Response to “”

  1. Phyllis Terwilliger February 22, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

    Totally agree with your admonition to vote!

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