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Whose Image?

“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God,” we hear Jesus instruct in the Gospel today. This is a familiar line from Scripture, yet what does it really mean for us?

For me, the key to unlocking Jesus’ message is not so much in Jesus’ above answer, but in the way He first poses the question: “Whose image and inscription is this?” He asks. What image does this coin bear? What is inscribed upon it?

We know from the book of Genesis that “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (1:27). Each of us is made in the image and likeness of God. It’s yet another one of those lines of Scripture that is so familiar—but do we really understand what this calls us to, sisters?

We are called to bear God’s image to the world. We should desire to become more like God—not try to be God or to play His role in our life—but to become like Him. We should love one another the way He first loved us. We should be quick to show mercy. We should strive to grow in virtue. And we should do all these things as a gift to Him, for we belong to Him.

Our modern society often promotes individualistic notions: my life belongs to me, and I have the right to do what I want with my life and with my body, when and however it pleases me. Yes, God gave us free will, but let us not forget: We are His, sisters. Our lives, our bodies are not our own. Everything we have is a gift from Him.

Certainly we have a responsibility to a variety of civic duties as citizens of our country. How much more important is it, though, for us to fulfill our responsibilities as citizens of God’s Kingdom here on Earth, with every hope of being an eternal citizen of Heaven?

When someone meets you, sister, whose image do they see? Let’s pray today that our sisters and brothers might clearly see God’s image when they encounter us. Let’s pray that God’s Truth is inscribed upon our hearts, that we might live in the freedom of belonging to Him.

Elise Howe is a devoted wife, momma, vocal artist and teacher. She currently resides in New York City, though she will always be a Midwestern gal at heart. Elise has a heart for ministry, dark chocolate (but not too dark) and coffee with a generous amount of cream + sugar. Find out more about her here.

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