Thursday, September 29, 2011

Unfaithful Tenants in the Vineyard

  A vineyard owner leased out his vineyard.  When time came to get the proceeds of the harvest, the tenants are less than forth coming.  Messengers are sent to try to get the tenants to pay up.  The tenants beat some of them up and even kill some of them.  Finally, the owner makes a decision: "I'll send my son.  It is like I will be there myself- they will have to respect my son."
  The tenants see the son coming.  They decide to get greedy.  If we kill him, too, they think, then it will all be ours.  We'll just be tenants no longer.  The son arrives and they put their thoughts into action.  Ruthlessly, the son- the heir- is killed.
  I remember the first time I really looked at this parable- sophomore year at Nazareth Academy in religion class.  We were asked to identify all of the characters.  Easy, we thought.  The owner is God, the son is Jesus, the various messengers are the prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, John the Baptist), and the tenants are the religious leaders.  We thought we were pretty smart!
  There is a difference, however, being identifying the players and truly "getting" the story.    Truth be told, you and I are the tenants.  So often we turn our backs on the One who loving created us and calls us by name.
  But even that is not the end of this story.  Once again we see a God who is so in love with us, that time and time again He tries to reach out to us.  Even in the face of rejection and abuse, God so desperately wants a relationship with you and with me that God tireless keeps trying. 
  For this Jesus came, to seek and save the lost, including you and me.  Thank you, God, for your wondrous amazing love that persists and that nothing can erase.

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