“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.” vs. 1
The parables of Jesus are a fertile source of information about kingdom living. It’s not that they’re straightforward or easy to understand…many of them have twists that seem designed to obscure…at the very least they are cause for debate and conversation. The one about the laborers in the vineyard is certainly one of those. It begins by affirming a basic premise about our call to serve as followers of Jesus. There’s work to be done in the world and we are the ones who have been “hired” to do it. With the job, or vocation, there is an accompanying understanding, namely that we are not in charge. We have a master or lord who has called us for a particular mission and purpose. Obviously we won’t be all doing the same thing…we have varying gifts and talents…but overall, our task is to ensure that good fruit is produced in the vineyard. There is also an expectation on our part–we believe that there will be blessings for what we do in the kingdom. For many of us, the wage is connected to the crown of life, the new life that awaits when life in this world is done. It’s a simple contract…one easily understood…and it undergirds everything we do as the presence of Christ. Our faithfulness will be rewarded–and that’s the truth!