Not the emperor’s

         Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s,
and to God the things that are God’s.
—Matthew 22.21

I am not the emperor’s.
I owe him nothing.
Not my loyalty, my obedience, or my belief;
not my niceness, not my polite agreement,
not even my cooperation.
He does not own my hope;
and can’t even lay hands on it.
He does not rule my freedom,
my power or my joy.
His is not the truth,
nor the way, nor the life.
The emperor, desperate bully
gentlemanly dressed,
has no claim on me at all.
I am wholly and irretrievably God’s.
No one can snatch me from the Beloved,
the emperor’s loyalists can’t contain me,
nor can his proud boys drive me
from the cause of justice.
I belong wholly to God,
who by God’s own gracious choice
belongs to the poor.
Today I freely and joyfully
give myself to God,
and God alone.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

October 13, 2020

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