Not Caesar’s Icon by Thomas S. Buchanan

Not Caesar’s Icon

Show me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s. And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.
—Luke 20:24–25

The differences between the secular world and the Christian world are often difficult to keep before us. For example, on the first of January we celebrated the beginning of a New Year. But for Christians in the West, the New Year historically commenced with the first Sunday of Advent, while for the Orthodox, it started in September.

The secularization of our society has changed the way many Christians view Christian events. For example, the Christmas season did not historically begin on Halloween and end on December 25. Instead, it began on Christmas Day and ended on Epiphany, a time that is now referred to as the “After Christmas Sale Season.” Of course, Halloween has completely overshadowed All Saints’ Day (have you ever seen a “Happy All Saints’ Day!” card?). And that other day that makes confectioners’ pocketbooks bloat is what used to be called the celebration of the Resurrection. I am sure at that time of year more people think about marshmallow chicks and chocolate eggs than about the Body and Blood of our Lord.

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Thomas S. Buchanan is the George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. He has studied at UCSD, Northwestern University, and MIT, and has held visiting professorships at the University of Western Australia and the University of Aix-Marseille. He has served as department chairman, deputy dean, and institute director, president of the American Society of Biomechanics, and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Biomechanics. He is on the Board of Trustees of Saint Katherine College, the editorial board of Touchstone, and the board of The Fellowship of St. James.

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