Today, I empathise with the characters in this parable soo much… how dare the employer over pay those slackers who only did one hours work, or if they want to be generous to them and give them the full day rate, where is the bonus for those who grafted and slogged it out??
Ahem, sorry… over-engagement with the text there, I’ll try not to let it happen again. If you’re wondering what this is all about, try looking at Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 20 and read the parable of the lunatic landowner or as its more often known ‘the parable of the workers in the vineyard’- its verses 1-16.
As i read this today, the parallels with the parable of the prodigal son (or the generous parent) jumped out at me- someone lazy/turning up late/being rude receiving the generous/gracious gift while the hard working/faithful one doesn’t seem to get any reward for sticking it out… and yet- the son who stayed at home always had everything, the worker who grafted all day still got paid an acceptable wage for their work, and those of us who’ve been aware of our own need for forgiveness for ages should be resting in the joy of being children of God rather than scrapping about who else God is including- bottom line is I’m just so grateful that God calls me his son, I have no desire to turn anyone away or to remonstrate with God for being gracious.
So yeah- I totally empathise with them, but as soon as I realise this isn’t about workplace ethics but God’s love, I get it…the kingdom of heaven is like a place where everyone receives an equally generous portion of God’s love. If we decide to be grumpy about that, its no one’s problem but our own.