O my God, in you I trust
Wesley White has compiled a connection of lectionary readings with lived experiences, Wrestling Year A. Here's an excerpt:
Would you have participated in the first Passover? Just because Moses said so? His track record wasn't the greatest. If pests and boils won't work, why would blood on the door and shoes at the ready?Matthew 20:1-28
Jesus is addressing people who might find themselves in this parable as the workers who had been there all day. They (we?) have done everything that was expected of them and had received what they had expected to get. Why are they resentful? What in us makes us unhappy in a situation in which we got what we had been promised?
Put yourself in the place of the latecomers. When have you gotten more than you had earned? What was your reaction? Why was Jesus silent on their reaction?
Put yourself in the place of the landowner. How should you pay your workers? Who has worked for you? Did you always reward them according to what they deserved to get? Have you ever been generous beyond what equity would call for? If so, were you confronted with more unhappy or more happy recipients?
Robert Frost's poem Death of the Hired Man (http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19369) suggests that some of us are able to recognize a need to care for someone who may not have earned that care.
In Jesus' time many laborers had been thrown out of work as a result of the economic conditions (Allen & Williamson, Preaching the Gospel).
In our time, we still have to figure out how to deal appropriately with laborers who have arrived later.
In praying this psalm, we admit that we have not always done what God would have preferred us to do, and we admit that we have more to learn.
We ask the Lord, "Forget what we have done and remember what you are like."
Think about your own life. If you had known then what you know now, what would you have done differently? How can you live so that God want have to keep being so merciful to you?
Prayer for Today: O Lord our God, we pray today for your guidance and for your forgiveness when we do wander from the path you have shown us. We give you thanks for the community that our congregation offers to us, for the support and encouragement that it offers. We ask that you continue to motivate the lay leaders who do so much for us and continue to motivate us to support them and work with them to carry out the mission that you have entrusted to us. Amen.