Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 8: Year 2
Psalm 119:145-176; Psalm 128, 129, 130; Num. 22:41-23:12; Rom. 7:13-25; Matt. 21:33-46
“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country.” (Matthew 21: 3)
This starts a beautiful parable the quickly goes south. It goes into evil people (the tenants) who beat up and kill the prophets and the Son of the owner of the vineyard. The preferential Christian understanding for many Christians is that God has sent His Son into the world, the vineyard, and he was crucified, and the vineyard was given to Christians. Not all Christians adhere to this idea.
But before all that, I want to focus on our human duty to care for this earth, this vineyard, regardless of a particular religion. The Great Creator has caused to come into being this perfect life support system for all living creation. And, call it what you will, creation or evolution, humanity came into being last. I think we are the flagship of God’s work. This earth is perfect for our wellbeing. But there is more to it than that.
We have a responsibility to help maintain this precious life-support system we depend on. We have made telescopes and cameras and we have placed them in space such that we can look back and see this fragile earth, our island home, as God would see it. I truly believe that God enjoys looking at this earth and sees that it is (or was) very good. This earth is a unique blue ball giving life to countless forms of life. This blue ball is the vineyard, and we humans are the tenants, given the responsibility to maintain it until the owner, either sends someone for a report, or returns personally. So, how are we doing?
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John