THEME: BEING GODLY AND CIVIL
(Isaiah 45:1, 4-6; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5; Matthew 22:15-21)
We are spiritual and political beings in nature. That is to say, we are of double citizens; citizens of heaven, and of the world. As such we have duties in the two worlds, the world of the body that we see, and the unseen world of the spirit. As citizens of heaven we have duties towards God, so as citizens of this world we have duties to our fellow human beings. It is therefore important that we don’t our double citizenship and the obligations we have to each to clash. If they ever do, the Christian must not forget that God has the first claim over us before we give allegiance to anything earthly. We must remain faithful to God while resolving conflicts due to our obligations to God and the society. Remember the words of the Psalmist: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world and those who live in it” (Psalm 24:1).
As people living in the world, Jesus invites us to abide by the principles of social life and laws that will promote peace and harmony in the society, because we live with others. That is why there is need for a legitimate civil authority to protect human rights and unite the people. These social responsibilities ought to be fulfilled religiously.
Giving ourselves back to God is total. It involves giving him unalloyed loyalty, worshipping him alone, having the laws of God first. It also involves working for the good of the world which he has created. Christians must not develop apathy for the happenings in the society. Christians have to participate in the social and political processes, in order to engender a balanced and God-fearing system. We are challenged to get involved and not be mere observers.
In conclusion, we all have the obligation to serve God and our society by performing our civil duties to our nation. However, the priority line is, God first, our nation second. Many a time, out of wrong orientations and misplacement of priorities we tend to neglect our fundamental Christian principles and we thereby live a life regardless of God.
Hence, we have a responsibility to stand against laws that destroy our obligations and duties as citizens of heaven, to stand against bad system and governance as well, and to help our government and the society in which we live make moral choices and support noble ideals. We have to be active, courageous and morally minded in our respective families and places of work.
May God help us with his grace, intercede for us and sustain us in our effort to live out our duties and obligations religiously- Amen.