Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Today’s text

Matthew 21:33-35, 40, 41-43

'Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third. ... Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?' They answered, 'He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him at the proper time. 'I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.'


Is it me, Jesus? Am I the one who will lose the kingdom to those who produce its fruits?

You planted the word of your kingdom in my heart long ago. As I boy I already wanted you. I wanted to know you, to love you, to serve you. I prayed, ‘Lord, take away everything I most love that I may love you most of all.’

I think you answered that prayer and still are. This is good, since there is still much work to be done.

Insecurities about self and success can still make me anxious to impress and curry favor. Angers over minor frustrations and irritations spring more quickly from my lips than words of blessing or compassion for your troubled world. Harried days erode the trust that all is well, since all that is--and all I am--is surrounded and held in your gracious hand.

But even the knowledge of my failures to produce the fruit of your loving rule is, in fact, a sign of your determination that the seed you planted is still there, still alive, still seeking to produce the rich fruit you intend.

For I still hunger as I did as a boy. But now I know so much more. I have felt so much more. I have tasted you. I have sampled the fruit of peace and strength, of hope and love. I have known the blessed intoxication of the awareness of your all-surpassing care.

Despite every failure, the seed of the divine vineyard grows in my soul. And on my best days, my words and life speak and share fruit of your rule.

And then I know: my real failure and deepest temptation is the failure to trust that you who have planted will bring a harvest even in and through my life.

Pr. David L. Miller

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