Dear St. Luke Community,
I hope you were able to open the windows and sit outside these past few days. The simple gifts of God’s grace take on an entirely new level of appreciation when the things we normally take for granted are no longer available. During the worst of the smoke-filled skies, many of us felt forlorn and a few felt it was unfair as they compared themselves to those in other states or countries who were enjoying clean air. I read somewhere that there’s a term being used called “Covid Envy.” Some folks can escape to second homes and others cannot. Some have to work and others do not. Some have to work with children at home and others do not.
In this Sunday’s scripture, Matthew 20:1-16 (The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard), we’re presented with this idea of what is fair and what is unfair. Workers show up at different times, some working all day and others only for a few hours, but everyone receives the same wage. It doesn’t seem fair.
Because this is a parable, I invite you all to think about the details, the characters, the back stories of all the players. Who are the ones who didn’t get hired till the end of the day? What were they doing all day? What were they capable of doing? How we imagine the answer to these questions and the intonation we use to ask them will reveal the lens through which we look.
I very much look forward to unpacking this parable in light of our present moment in history, when so many are out of a job and struggling economically, those who have lost their homes, those who are disabled, those who are working, and those who stand on street corners hoping for work.
God’s sense of fairness is not ours. Does our way of living, our laws and our attitudes reflect that of God’s or does it reflect our sense of entitlement around what’s fair?
See you Sunday,