Vicar’s Reflection: OS 25, September 24th, 2017
In Luke 10 Jesus said: “the worker deserves his (or her) wages”. He is a model of fairness. Yet in Matthew 20 it seems even the layabouts who have shirked work all day can pick up an hour’s labour at the end of the day and get paid for a full day’s work. It doesn’t seem fair. As a model of employment style it may be lacking. The pointy end of this parable is about participation in the mission of the Kingdom. Those who do little and those who do much are treated equally in God’s economy, which is concerned about our shared humanity and our relationships rather than status or position. We sometimes hear expressions of scorn or resentment towards the poor or homeless from hard-working people who have become prosperous and materially secure through their hard work. The implication being that if I’ve worked hard and made my life better so must everyone else. The capacity to work hard is not granted to everyone. Not everyone is raised in families with a strong work ethic or the opportunities to learn, study or develop healthy attitudes. But regardless of such disadvantages we share a common humanity and each person deserves respect and opportunity. Certainly, Jesus makes this point that God’s sovereignty lifts those who are disadvantaged to place them on an equal level with all. Let’s hope our economy will do the same.