The story that Jesus tells today is challenging (Matthew 20:1-16). It disturbs us, especially as children of capitalism and the sense of justice that we have developed. Surely the workers who were out in the vineyard all day long (and a 12-hour day is described) deserve to be paid more than the workers who only worked for a single hour?
But the parable speaks of justice – but so much more. It tells of the abundance of God – his grace, mercy, compassion and love. It also speaks to the question that we were first asked as children: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We may remember the answer that we gave when we were first asked this question. Maybe it changed a little as we grew older. But it struck me that when we do grow up, the question begins to change. We are no longer asked about what we want to be – but about what we do. There is such a world of difference between who we are – and what we do. Yet our world is so focussed on output and productivity and economic value. So little on who we are and what our story is. Jesus tells a story about the dignity and worth of every person and his desire to generously pour out his love and kindness upon every person.
Sunday 25, Year A. Matthew 20:1-16.