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At Home in Lent - Day 41

Bills... well, I very rarely have any physical bills these days, I pay most things by direct bank transfer, and have gone 'paperless' wherever I can.

But bills and taxes, and the render unto Caesar story (which I used yesterday as part of our reflections for Palm Sunday) are the focus for today.

The people come to Jesus with an either/or question - to pay taxes or not - and Jesus gives a both/and reply - give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. This is the aspect of the reflection that attracts me - the very human desire for neat yes/no answers and the reality that 'it's complicated'.  The very natural desire to be able to decide what is right/wrong but the realisation that it's endless shades of grey.

Paying taxes, or bills, is just part of everyday life, a way that society orders itself and pays for the things it needs - or chooses - to undertake.  We are free to withhold our taxes, and some do, and there will be consequences. We are also free to challenge the 'Caesars' of our day as to how they spend the taxes they collect in a way not possible in Jesus' time.

Whilst gathering the money to pay our bills, and fund our mission, are essential aspects of church practice, we do so recognising that we live with a curious both-and of 'rendering unto Caesar' and 'rendering unto God'... and sometimes that can be very tricky indeed.

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