Jesus is Lord, Caesar is Not: A Question of Masters
Romans 12 & 13
Jesus is Lord, Caesar is Not, Part 1: A Question of Masters
A Question of Masters
Begin with prayer
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting. Have somebody lead a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.
Read this overview
Talking about God and government can be… complicated.
Some of us take politics very seriously—either by way of upbringing or personal conviction. Some of us were raised in a political party, or to prioritize a certain issue. Others of us have almost nothing invested in the world of politics, familiar with only what rises to the surface via memes and social media.
Some of us tense up at the mere mention of a certain politician or policy, others of us don’t know or care enough to be uncomfortable. Either way, our culture is one of political division and acrimony.
As the pandemic world lumbers awkwardly toward another presidential election, disciples of Jesus face complicated questions and conversations about what it means to follow Jesus well in a politically divided world.
Talk through the following discussion questions:
PLEASE NOTE: This practice is not an appropriate space to discuss and debate politicians and policies. Please demonstrate a willingness to hear from your community without correcting, arguing, or inserting your opinion.
- Without getting into current opinions, how would you describe the political environment of your upbringing?
- How would you describe your current connection to the world of politics? Do you feel as if you are often sucked into the outrage hysterics of social media and the news media? Do you feel totally detached? Something in between?
Spend some time in listening prayer.
Worry reveals worship. If we find ourselves anxious and fretful about politics and politicians, it may indicate that we have made an idol from our own vision of political prosperity. Outrage and cynicism, on the other hand, expose our inability to love our enemies or to embrace peace.
The teachings of Jesus and the writings of Scripture encourage neither partisan politics nor apathy, but proclaim the subversive good news of a different kingdom and a different king.
Tonight, we’re inviting your community to begin this series and set of practices with an intimidating prayer. In a moment, invite one person to read the prayer (below) aloud, then listen silently for a minute or two. While you wait in the silence, consider that what comes to mind during that time could be God’s Spirit speaking to you.
Jesus, you are our authority, you are our lord. Our allegiance is not to a flag or a nation or a ruler or a president, but to a king and a kingdom. Search my heart for idolatry. Reveal to me where my loves are disordered and correct me according to your kindness and compassion. If I have allowed anything to stand in the place of God, show me.
(After you’ve spent a few minutes listening, have someone close in a prayer of gratitude.)
Discuss the coming week’s Practice
This week, commit to dedicating ten or so minutes of your daily prayer routine to repeating this prayer practice. Pray through the written prayer above (or the same sentiment in your own words), and spend a few minutes listening to the Spirit of God.
Journal what you hear, allowing each day’s journal entry to inform the coming day’s prayer.
Work through this discussion questions before you call it a night
Out of tonight’s time of discussion and prayer, what is something you feel you would like to receive from God in the days ahead? (e.g., freedom from anxiety, a renewed vision for the kingship of Jesus, strength to unplug from news and social media? Conviction to love enemies?)
Close in prayer