Breathe in clear thoughts of peace and reflection as you prepare to hear God speak to you through the scripture and the writer. Put aside all the things the world says you have to accomplish today and use this time to rest in God’s presence.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; 4 and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. 5 When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6 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?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 8 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.’ 9 When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. 10 Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. 11 And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12 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.’ 13 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? 14 Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
This is a hard passage but its very relatable to life. It is very similar to the perspective of the other son in the prodigal son. Where he is indignant that the unfaithful brother is welcomed back with open arms. The landowner did the opposite of what made sense. He lines them up from the least amount of work to those who worked the whole day and pays those who worked a short amount of time the same wage. This would be upsetting for anyone but they agreed to the wage. We as Christians faithfully serve and some of us have done so our entire lives. Some people we see they may have been wretched people in life and much later in life they come to faith in Christ. The thing is they are just as saved as the person who served their whole life but we like to divide and break down the body. It would be easy for those who have a seminary degree to look down on those who have gone through and have a certificate of completion in the Program of Alternate Studies. However, as a body, they are recognized at completely equal standing with their seminary brothers and sister and that is important because we are one body. We should never look down on others. I have met ministers who have a degree and they don’t know how to be a minister and I have seen people who don’t have an education who minister wonderfully to those around them.
God, help us to put You first in all things of life. As life gets hectic and things of this world seek to pull us away, empower us through your Holy Spirit to live lives that call us into service to You, realizing that the things we give up are not in vain. We thank You for Your love and it is in the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen
Go with God!