Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Today’s text

Matthew 21:28-32

'What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, "My boy, go and work in the vineyard today." He answered, "I will not go," but afterwards thought better of it and went. The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, "Certainly, sir," but did not go. Which of the two did the father's will?' They said, 'The first.' Jesus said to them, 'In truth I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you, showing the way of uprightness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.


Is it me, Lord? Is this the truth of my life and of the church’s life today?

Are we those who say, ‘Yes, we will go into your vineyard,’ but then refuse to do the work of your kingdom?

Meanwhile, are those who say they do not believe responding to your silent presence in all life and doing works of mercy and justice, the deeds of your kingdom?

Believing in you has less to do with words than we imagine, a sobering thought for me as I relish words and what they move in me and others. Truly believing is not about my formulas or sentences, and it has less to do with reciting creeds or knowing Bible stories and proper theological clichés than most imagine.

It is about going and doing, entering the vineyard of creation and tending it with care. It is about loving as you love, Lord, giving as you give, healing bodies and souls and reconciling relationships.

It is about pouring out our lives in love as you poured yourself out for us.

Belief happens less in the mind than in the heart and intuition when we see people loving, nurturing and caring. It happens as our depths are moved to know that this is the truth of our life--and yours; this is that for which we were born; this is the face of the Loving Mystery of God.

The religious leaders saw people flock to John the Baptist and change their ways. They should have seen and known his actions--the affect he had on the human souls--bore the mark of God’s holy presence.

They should have seen that your healing touch, Jesus, flowed from that Eternal Source who hungers for the healing of all that is, including their own lives and commitments.

They should have seen divine authority at work in John and in you by the lives you made whole and free.

But the question is, do I?

Do I receive every moment as an occasion to pay attention to whatever mercy and justice is present--or needs to be? Do I see and celebrate the people who give life, who nurture love and beauty, joy and compassion, mind and strength?

And seeing, do I join them, working in the vineyard?

Every moment is a moment for seeing you, and joining the garden party.

Pr. David L. Miller

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