“’What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’”
Welcome as we continue our journey of study and commit ourselves to the work of following, witnessing to, and sharing Jesus.
Last Sunday we talked about celebration, and the many reasons we, who follow, witness to, and share Jesus have for celebrating.
We learned last week of the amazing generosity of God’s forgiveness. After Peter’s question related to accounting for forgiveness Jesus replies that forgiveness for those who follow Him is not a thing to be counted. Rather, our forgiveness must remain uncountable. We are not in Jesus’ gospel life as scorekeepers. The limitless forgiveness of our good and loving God is to be the forgiveness we are known by.
Our reconciliation and salvation, our redemption all come from the uncountable gift of God’s only Son, and His self-giving to save us.
Imitating God’s uncountable forgiveness we can look at ourselves and each other differently, as freed people.
This Sunday we are once again reminded of God’s generosity.
Jesus’ well-known parable of the landowner and the workers covers several points again related to counting, and there is more to it than what is at face value.
The first workers are looking at the generosity of the landowner and admire it. Wow, this guy is so generous I can’t wait to see what I get. After all, these latecomers are not as good and deserving as I am. They lazed around all day, they’re bums. I’m a hard worker. They felt them less worthy than themselves (counting and judgment). When they get the same, they grumbled.
The early workers are grumbling not just because of the wage, but because of the generous redemption practiced by the landowner. All work was redeemed without counting the score or the before.
St. Paul reminds us to conduct [our]selves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ. That, brothers and sisters, means that we must refrain from counting what others have or have not done, from looking at someone’s past, and from judgmentalism.
Some figure they are at the front of the line for God’s blessing based on history alone. Jesus tells us it is not so. Our generosity modeled on the Father’s in the now (the last thing) is what matters.