I have two eyes that allow me to see. I have two ears that allow me to hear. And I have a brain that disallows me from seeing and hearing all that my eyes and ears see and hear. My brain disallows and allows. And without my brain all that I see and hear would be meaningless data without purpose. I survive not by absorbing all that data – I survive by ignoring most of that data.
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard: Matthew 20:1-16
Jewish audience again. The Little Children and Jesus … The Rich and the Kingdom of God … The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard … Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time … A Mother’s Request …
“For the kingdom of heaven is like … a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.”
Zero hours contracts. Casual labour. Labour without rights. What about insurance? What about breaks? What about working conditions? Where is the “fairness” Jesus preaches in giving each the same amount of money – when none knew if they would be earning anything tomorrow? Is “that” the kingdom of heaven, Jesus?
Why is it that this parable sits nicely within my scale of what is right and wrong, but I notice the acceptance “slavery” in the bible … I notice the absence of “gay rights” … I notice “bacon” … Why do I still think vegans slightly odd … that a sunrise is special only when I am sitting here to notice it … that so much in the bible is beautiful but we tarnish it without a care … ?
Maybe because to notice beauty in the bible I have to filter the “data”. That the Jewish audience expected something I don’t. That the writers expected something I don’t. That the politics and editors ever since expect something I don’t. That I have changed so much since I began reading the bible. That I have changed so much simply by living all my years. That my filters are different filters of data to the filters that filtered data years ago. That my filters are my brain and my brain is my filters. That I choose what sits within my scale of right and wrong – or allow someone to choose for me. And that scale and who I allow to choose for me (or not) changes as I change.
Yesterday I had a conversation with someone I accused of seeing our past with rose-tinted glasses. A filter that changed our reality. A filter that got in the way of our current “reality”. A filter that was sourced in our relationship and their fear of change then and now. It was a work conversation with a supplier miles away.
And what allowed me to have that conversation was our long-term relationship. A source of trust and respect and affection. A pool of “data” that meant something special to both of us. That allowed my criticism of the current “reality” to be heard.
There IS beauty in the bible.
But – just as with this sunrise out of the window – I have to trust my relationship with it. Not the writers, not the politics, not the editors, nor even that it is ”God inspired” (and definitely not that it is “inerrant and infallible”). That is not “trust” – that is conforming to religious teaching – and my experience is to discard much of my religious teaching.
My trust is in Love. My trust is in Kindness. My trust is in Relationship. My trust is in stuff “popular filtered science” prefers lifeless and cold and factual – but which for me has a life and an energy and a soul.
Like this sunrise almost done for today.
For the kingdom of heaven is like … breathing life and beauty back into Love and Kindness and Relationship … where a moment is an eternity … where angels do exist … where all really are welcome … where I live right now … where there is love to be found in all … where each is truly loveable.
Have a great day!