This sermon had one core idea. We are made in the image of God, hence rendering unto God the things that are his includes all that we are. Very simple and very radical idea. We have an easier time getting lost in politics or sports or just the stuff of life. God isn’t there emailing you directly every day. What he send are preachers and books and friends and blessings, and they are easy enought to dodge or leave on the shelf or mistake for our work.
In that sense the sermon was like an image. You can look at it from different angles. You can ponder the image, but everything you need to know is captured very quickly. Any effect is in personal examination.
This particular sermon had very strong roots in a couple of discussions with the church community. Rita F., celebrating her 80th birthday, and in Bible study brought up a very deep question. What exactly is God? What we have been revealed as God is Jesus. Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father. Trying to get go outside of that revelation gets us into the position like Job being questioned or like Paul’s pot of clay asking the potter. What we have been revealed is the image of God, the icon, Jesus. And as Christians, his is the imgage to which we are being conformed.
Caesar deserves his due as a type and shadow of that ultimate reality. Caesar points us the ultimate rule of all by God.