It is remarkable (and at times almost comical) how God has timed the reading of certain texts we study in Crucible in serendipitous and prophetic overlap with realtime current events. Who can forget the year that Mother’s Day Sunday fell to the text “you should hate your mother…”? This last week, one week before the Republican National Convention invades our town, and just weeks away from the next presidential election, we found ourselves wrestling with the Political Caesar text in Mark 12. Poetic irony and prophetic timing forced us to talk about politics (something we rarely talk about) at a time when it is most volatile. I have to admit, it is a little intimidating to wade into that subject given that I am not a political scientist and that people can be so dogmatic about their political views. It is a hard subject to address, to be sure. Still, if that is where the text leads us, I have a responsibility to try and teach the Scriptures as faithfully as I can, especially when it challenges our prevailing biases. If you didn’t get a chance to catch that talk, you can listen to it here.
This experience last week got me thinking, and remembering the last presidential election. I think that was the last time I explicitly talked about politics and our response to the political dilemmas we are faced with, because that was the last time the text took us there. I looked back and was amazed (to use my grandmother’s phrase, I was tickled) to discover that the text that day, August 10, 2008, was Luke 20, the Political Caesar passage. We don’t plan for this kind of serendipity, it is the elegant sovereignty of God that works in ways we cannot see and rarely understand. Anyway, since we are not meeting this Sunday for Crucible I thought I would give you that old message, which I think might actually be better, since it covers the context of the story even better than I did this past Sunday, and goes a little more in depth on the subject of Jesus and Politics. So, if you want to listen to a throwback, check it out.
And maybe you can go ahead and mark your calendars; we will likely come on this passage again four years from now.