Matthew 21: 33-43
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people. “Here’s another story. Listen closely. There was once a man, a wealthy farmer, who planted a vineyard. He fenced it, dug a winepress, put up a watchtower, then turned it over to the farmhands and went off on a trip. When it was time to harvest the grapes, he sent his servants back to collect his profits.
“The farmhands grabbed the first servant and beat him up. The next one they murdered. They threw stones at the third but he got away. The owner tried again, sending more servants. They got the same treatment. The owner was at the end of his tether. He decided to send his son. ‘Surely,’ he thought, ‘they will respect my son.’
But when the farmhands saw the son arrive, they rubbed their hands in greed. ‘This is the heir! Let’s kill him and have it all for ourselves.’ They grabbed him, threw him out, and killed him.
Now, when the owner of the vineyard arrives home from his trip, what do you think he will do to the farmhands?”
“He’ll kill them – a rotten bunch, and good riddance,” they answered. “Then he’ll assign the vineyard to farmhands who will hand over the profits when it’s time.”
Jesus said, “Right- and you can read it for yourselves in your Bibles: The stone the masons threw out is now the cornerstone. This is God’s work; we rub our eyes, we can hardly believe it!
“This is the way it is with you. God’s kingdom will be taken back from you and handed over to a people who will live out a kingdom life. Whoever stumbles on this Stone gets shattered; whoever the Stone falls on gets smashed.”
The Bible frequently uses variations of the image of the vine and the vineyard to express the relationship between God and His people.
Every one of us has been given a vineyard by God. Our families, our communities, our work, our church, our environment are all parts of our vineyard. God does not exclude anyone from their vineyard. People exclude themselves by failing to tend the vineyard they have been given.
I am called by God to produce good fruits in this vineyard. In this time of pandemic, how am I using the gifts he gave me to help others?