September 4, 2016

Reading Matthew 20:1-16 (NRSV)

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Last week’s story told about a rich landowning laborer; Jesus warned about wanting more when we already have enough. Today’s story tells about hired laborers; Jesus warns against comparisons, and wanting others to have less.

Today’s landowner hires more and more people to work in his vineyard. When the first ones hired see that the latecomers are paid the same wages, they complain: it’s not fair; I worked harder than they did! The landowner asks those hired first why they should set restrictions on his generosity to others.

When Jesus mentions generosity, we suddenly see the link to the kingdom of heaven. God is generous in choosing us to help gather a spiritual harvest. Our initial gratitude may fade if we start comparing ourselves to others and what we think they are doing and getting. Should others get less of God’s generosity? Are we implying that we deserve more?

While celebrating Labor Day, let gratitude for your work surmount that easy comparison: I work harder than they do!

Remember that God’s generosity is big enough to extend to everyone. None of us deserve it. And no one deserves to have less.

Let us pray. Generous God, thank you for choosing us to help show the world how much you love us all. May we embrace the work we have from you, and embrace the workers that join us in the field, no matter when they arrive. Amen.

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