A reflection on Matthew 20:1-16, the gospel lesson for Proper 20a, according to the Revised Common Lectionary.
This parable sounds “unfair” to our ears, every bit as much as it sounded unfair to those who heard Jesus say these words 2,000 years ago.
But, they are only unfair if you’re looking out for yourself first.
I mean, what if, just for a moment, your main concern was for someone else to get ahead. I mean what if that was the only thing on your mind?
Then, this parable would be amazing. This parable would be exactly what you were looking for.
What would it take for us to cheer for those last workers who came as the bulk of the job was finished, and as everyone was cleaning up for the day? What would it take for us to whoop and hollar when their check was just as big as everyone else’s?
What would it take for us to be for those workers who came in the cool of the morning, and who worked through the heat of the day to get the same paycheck as everyone else?
It would take us having the mindset of God.
Here’s the thing, when it comes to God’s Kingdom, there’s only one prize: Being in God’s Presence now and forever. Here in this world and in the world to come. That’s it. There isn’t a consolation prize. No silver, no bronze.
And, anyone is allowed in, whether they signed on early, or whether they skidded in at the last minute. AND, God is excited that each and every one of us is in, no matter how long our commitment.
Because the first larborers are God’s Children. And the ones who came next; they are God’s Children. And the ones who came last…they are God’s Children.
So now, isn’t this parable amazing?