Today’s readings: Joel 1:1-13; 1 Corinthians 14:1-12; Matthew 20:1-16
How many times in your life have you shouted in your mind, “Not fair”? It is a basic human instinct to want all things in life to be fair. The reality is that many events occur in our lives over which we have little or no control, and when they do not go as we want them to go, we declare them “not fair.” As self-centered, sinful creatures, it is a part of our DNA.
The parable of the laborers in the vineyard illustrates our natural envy and desire for fairness in all things. When we begin to compare our individual contributions to the work of the kingdom to those of our neighbor, we begin to lose sight of the truth, promise, and justice of the gospel. In the actions of the Master, we see that God’s abundant grace and mercy abounds for those whom Jesus calls, no matter how much they have contributed to the work of the kingdom.
Once again, Jesus teaches the crowds that sin is overcome by God’s grace. We may see someone as undeserving, but in the kingdom of heaven, grace and mercy belong to God. It may not be fair, but it is not for us to worry.
Prayer: Lord, free me of my envy of others and my desire for fairness and allow me to see your grace and mercy in all things. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Ernie Sheldon, Pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Statesville, NC.