“I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you. Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous? “Here it is again, the great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.” [Matthew 20:15-16 The Message]
So where to your place yourself in this story? Are you one of the first workers hired or one of the last? Are you drenched in sweat from working through the heat of the day or ready to dine out because your hands are barely dirty? If we were the last one’s hired, then this parable brings you incredible delight and even amazement, as you struggle to take in the generosity of the one who hired you at the last hour. If you were one of the first one’s hired your spirit has soured as you compared your work to the work of others. How could they get the same as I did even though I toiled all day? These first works agreed to their wages and were probably elated to have work so that they could feed their families. But, then the generosity of the field owner clouded their perception. Have you ever had such an experience? Have you ever had someone else’s generosity cause you to be so upset? God’s generosity doesn’t play by our rules. So, what might God be teaching us?
Generous God, I admit that I often see myself as the first worker hired and it bugs me that late comers receive the same wage. Help me to focus on you, not on others for I know comparison is rarely good for my soul. Thank you for never giving up on me even when I struggle with your generosity for others. Amen.