Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Matthew 20:1-16 (NRSV)
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last 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.”[
I have to admit that I have never really liked this scripture. Most of us think that all people should be treated equally and fairly. In this story, it just doesn’t seem as if the hard-working people are being given a fair deal. But when talking about the kingdom of heaven, it is a whole different story. The scripture reminds us that when we accept Christ, we start living in the kingdom of heaven with all its blessings. There are enough blessings for everyone to share.
Jesus could also have been saying, “Mind your own business” regarding his dealings with other followers and the blessings they receive. We do sometimes need to be reminded of this to bring us back to our relationship with God.
Dear Lord, help us not to be jealous or envious of other people or overly concerned with others’ relationship with you, but to open our minds to your plan for us in the way that you would like for us to go. Amen.
Go with God.