Matthew 21:33-46

There is something in this parable that I haven't noticed before so let's just kind of go through it again. The man has a vineyard that tenants take care of. It comes harvest time and the owner wants the harvest, so he sends a three different servants to collect it. The tenants beat one, kill another, and then beat and throw another out. The landowner isn't phased by this violence and then sends his son to collect the harvest. The tenants then kill the son. Now if this parable represents God as the landowner, us as the tenants and Jesus as the son there are some incredible things to talk about here especially at stewardship time.

One thing that I am struck by is that God willing, abundantly gives everything in to our care, freely. We occupy a spot in the world given to us by God. One year a youth group played a simulation game during something called the 30 hour famine, a retreat where you don't eat for 30 hours. The game was supposed to let them know by the luck of the draw is where you are born. The leaders  had eggs filled with beans and depending on how many of these you traded when time was up was your story and whether you lived or died. To add a little interest the leaders said that whoever won this round got to pick which fast food place they would break the fast at. Even though at the end people wanted to make the restaurant a group decision youth were really hit with the unfairness of it all.

This brings to mind a few things, we are given a place to occupy by birth. What we do from then should be focused on giving blessing back, giving freely of our harvests back to God. I think the hardest part of this is with no strings attached. God doesn't give to us and rate how or if we will give back in order to receive God's land, or whether we'll treat one another with love before we receive God's love. It is freely given. Many times we get caught up in turf wars over what we think is rightfully ours because we think it is unfair. Whether it is in giving out food to the hungry, selling off a some of the extra we don't need, giving care to one another, or making time to pray. We all have something that just like the tenants we cling to as ours, not that it is a gift to us. Shouldn't we let God be the judge of the hearts and minds of others, or do we think we know God's mind?  Let us remember that all we have is freely given and we should freely give.