I am only thinking of you … We are in this together … I have got your back … Loyalty is the most important thing for me … What’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is mine …
How often do we mean:
I am thinking of me … Never forget what I have done for you … I’ll keep my eye on what you do … I scratched your back – you better scratch mine … I know to the penny how much you are spending …
How often do we really mean:
I earned it … I deserve it … I have rights … It’s more mine than yours … It’s not fair … How dare you treat me like that … You’d better look after me or else … It’s mine!
“For the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of an estate who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. After having agreed with the workers a denarius per day, he sent them in to his vineyard. And going out about the third hour, he saw others standing in the marketplace with nothing to do. And to them he said, “You go in to the vineyard as well, and whatever is fair I will pay you.’ So they went off. When he went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same thing. And about the eleventh hour, when he had gone out and found other standing around, he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go in to the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last and going back to the first.’ Those hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. When those who were hired first came, they thought they would receive more; but they also each received a denarius. And when they received it, they began to grumble against the owner of the estate, saying, ‘These last worked but one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he answered one of them, saying, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Did you not agree with me to work for a denarius? Take what is yours and be gone. I choose to give to this last man the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Matthew 20:1-16 (MOUNCE)
How often do we publicly accept that sinners can be saved up to, and including, their final breath. Otherwise we are seen to be real bitches. And that is not how any of us want to be perceived. Because we are saved. By Grace (whatever that means).
>>> Good morning God Soft Hands Jesus!!
‘Friend, I am not being unfair … Did you not agree … I choose to give to this last … Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me … or are you envious … ?’
We had a real close look at “day labourers” this morning:
Day labourers standing around all day? The ugly ones, the thick ones, the smelly ones, the weak ones, the slept-in again ones, the drunk ones, the lazy ones, the desperate ones, the ones who had to look after their children first ones, the ones who have no one to share their burden at home ones, the can’t afford the bus fare to get here ones, the rude ones, the distracted ones, the scaredy cats ones, the ones who do not speak up, the ones who dare not push to the front …
And then we had a really good look at the “Johnny Come Latelies”
The third/sixth/ninth/eleventh hours ones … who bring the Lost World mentality into church with such enthusiasm … who don’t understand how we do things here … who never network … are not interested in impressing me … who you never know if they are turning up on a Sunday … the ones who are not like us … who do not like to be controlled by us seniors …the ones we have to give a public nod to – but who just do not “get it” like we get it.
He kind of nudged me.
To “get” that He meant the whole parable. All of it. All of the time. All of us.
Not just a reluctant public nod to the last bit.