One parable in ten takes

         “Is your eye evil because I am generous?”
                  —Matthew 20.15

Jesus tells a story in which workers labor one, three, six, nine or twelve hours— but the employer pays them all the same amount, a usual day's wage. Those who worked longer feel short-changed, and are not happy.

What do you think this story is about?

1. Gratitude: God gives all of us all the grace we need regardless of our sense of “deserving.”

2. Encouragement: Whatever gift you have to give is valuable to God.

3. Wisdom: Don't compare yourself with other people.

4. Confession: Notice how often we want for ourselves what we don't want for others.

5. Self-awareness: Your desire to be superior can warp your appreciation of other people's contribution.

6. Justice: Nobody needs less than what they need.

7. God's freedom: God doesn't follow human rules or expectations.

8. Presence: You can focus on what you don't have or on what you do have. Your choice.

9. Humility: If you hear this story and think,”Hey, that's not fair!” it's likely because you identify with the ones who worked all day. Why do you do that? Don't you feel you've been given more than you've earned? How does this story feel if you imagine yourself as one who worked one hour?

10. Wonder: A scripture passage's meaning isn't always singular, simple or obvious.

Pick one thought that speaks to you and meditate on it.
       

   —September 21, 2017