Last Sunday I preached on the Narrative Lectionary, which took up the large swatch of Mark 12:1-17 with the stories of the wicked tenants (who kept beating & killing the vineyard owner’s representatives) and the paying of taxes to Caesar.

There are a lot of battles in our country right now about who is in charge.

Who is in charge the coronavirus response: Trump? Pence? The CDC? Johns Hopkins? Who is charge of the Democratic party: Sanders? Biden? The voters? Fear? Who is in charge of the government: the legislature? the judiciary? the executive?

The wicked tenants forgot who it all belonged to. They tried to deny access and participation to the one who planned, planted, cared for–and owned–the vineyard. They didn’t understand where the real power was. Sometimes we don’t understand that either. Those looking at the denarius with Jesus are asked whose image is on that coin. In their concern for what to do with their money, they neglect the question of what to do with themselves. When we look at human beings and ask whose image we are in,  we are reminded whose we are. There is no compartment of our lives where being made in the image of God doesn’t count. All parts of our lives our part of the transformative work of God. In all areas, we are called upon to put God first.

There are big issues in our country right now that I really care about. But I have a hard time figuring out how to take action on things like the coronavirus and the election. As I seek to find how and where I am called to take action (as well as pray!), I renew my remembrance that I am made in God’s image. And so are all the people in the world-even those where that image seems very blunted. All parts of me, and all people including me, belong to God in all that we do–when we pray and act; when we serve; when we self-quarantine or not; when we work or not; when and where we contribute; when we vote or not; when we buy or sell or both; when we help; when we speak and listen; when we share–when God works in and through us and we and the world are transformed.