Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Romans 13:5-7

Paul is the master of segue. “Segue” (pronounced “seg-way”) is a word that is not a religious word and simply means “to transition from one thing to another.” It is used like this: ‘The shirt I am wearing is lavender. Lavender is also one of my favorite flowers.’ I segued from talking about my shirt to talking about flowers. Paul segues often during his letters pulling connections and transitions seemingly out of thin air. When we read Romans 13:5-7, we can walk away thinking that Paul uses these verses to talk about paying your taxes. And he does. But as he finishes out verse 7, he segues on to a new concept. It is not just about rendering to Ceasar some coin. He says that we need to render “fear to whom fear, and honour to whom honour.” Paul actually says that we are to honor those that are in authority over us. Is this the sentiment that is represented to you on a daily basis? American polity is based on a two-party system: Democrats and Republicans. It seems that because of this two party system Christians polarize over political views, and often miss the opportunity to render honor to whom honor is due. Instead of respect, they treat our political leaders with disrespect and disgust. Instead of honor, they dole out dishonorable derogatory terms to define a candidate or leader that they personally disagree with. According to this segue of Paul, just as much as we should pay our taxes, we should pay out our duty of honor to the ones God has placed in authority over us.

Food for Thought: Read Romans 13:5-7. What does the word “segue” mean? What thoughts does Paul segue between in today's devotional?