Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 8: Year 2
Morning, Psalm 119:145-176; Evening, Psalms 128, 129 and 130;
Numbers 22:41-23:12; Romans 7:13-25; Matthew 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 out as a beautiful parable then quickly goes south. It goes into evil, self-serving people (the tenants), who beat up and kill the prophets and then 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 by those who thought themselves to be first in authority, 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 of the universe has caused to come into being this perfect life support system for all living creation upon it. And, call it what you will, creation or evolution, humanity came into being last. I think we are the flagship of God’s work as well as placed here to care for this earth. 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 that 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, all humans, are the tenants, given the responsibility to maintain it until the owner, either sends someone for a report, or returns personally. So, what do you think our Earth-care grade should be on our report card to God?
What’s going on with the precious lives in Ukraine? How do we fix that, and other earth ailments?
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John