Render to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's. What does this saying mean? Jesus' response to the conniving pharisees puts them on their heels by insisting on the dignity of all people. Christians are called to live in the middle of division, insisting on the dignity of all people as well.
Philippians 2:1-13 is an iconic passage. Much of it is actually a hymn. Paul reminds the Philippians of what is more important and the most important things cannot be spoken, they must be sung. Paul's use of worship reminds us that our "being in one accord" (the word we get symphony from in the Greek) has to do with gathering around the person of Christ, who shapes and forms us at our core.
The week following Easter provides us with the story of Doubting Thomas. What a beautiful picture of faith? In this sermon, Pastor Caleb tells the story of doubting Thomas, explores the value and challenge of doubt, and suggests that encounter, rather than proof, is what we ought to seek as Christians.
In Leviticus, we are told to be holy, like our God is holy. Leviticus 19 is famous for its commands: love the foreigner in your land, leave food in your fields for the poor, do not favor the rich or the poor. The commands of Leviticus tell us something about God, something about God's people Israel, and something about what the church ought to look like.
A week after the Beatitudes were read at President Trump's Inauguration the same passage fell into our lap. It felt right to read that passage in its proper place, the community of faith. "If we do nothing else this morning," Caleb said, "We will at least hear Christ's words in the place that they belong. We will sit at Jesus' feet and hear his words and we will take them seriously."
In this Christmas homily, Pastor Caleb reflects on the world into which Jesus was born. Caesar Augustus was the "son of god" who brought peace into a world that worships and deifies power and authority. Jesus enters as God, not in order to win Caesar's game, but in order to turn the entire world on its head in order to save it.