Monday, September 15, 2014

Generous God...

Matthew 20:1-16

“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.”
indeed your ways are not our ways,
nor are your thoughts, our thoughts.
It just doesn't seem fair,
those who worked the least received the same pay
as those who worked the longest.
True, they each received what was agreed upon, but...

Your final question cuts to the heart:
"Are you envious because I am generous?"
Yes, I am envious.
Yes, you are SO generous.
You bless when we don't deserve it.
You forgive when revenge is demanded.
You turn the other check, extend the other arm,
and take in your body the punishment we deserve.

Teach me to be content.
Help me celebrate the blessings of others.
Help me share your incredible blessings with those who need to be blessed.
Mostly Lord, teach me to follow Jesus' model of humility.

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