Thought for the week - 8 October 2023
Today's readings involve tales of two vineyards and a cornerstone.
700 years before Jesus, the prophet Isaiah gives us a song of a vineyard.
Despite the landowner preparing and tending the vineyard well, it bears bad fruit.
He asks, 'What more could I do?"
Finally, he despairs and destroys the vineyard.
The destruction of the vineyard represents God's despair at the greed and drunkenness of the people of Israel.
Matthew also tells us about a vineyard that Jesus spoke about in a parable about rejection. The owner of this vineyard trusts it to tenant farmers but when he sends his servants to collect the harvested fruit, it's the tenants that have turned bad. They beat up, stone and kill the servants.
The landowner sends more servants to collect the fruit, but they too are met with violence.
Finally, the landowner sends his own son hoping that he will be recognised and respected but sadly they throw him out of the vineyard and kill him.
Jesus asks the crowd, "How will the owner deal with the tenants now?"
They respond with, "He will bring them to a wretched end and rent his vineyard to other tenants who will give him his share of the crop when the harvest is ready".
Jesus then talks to them about the cornerstone of a building which is rejected by the builder but then goes on to be the vital stone that supports all the rest of the stones.
The parables can be regarded as just cosy little stories, but Jesus reached ordinary people by the telling of these tales of familiar things to help people think about their personal relationship with God.
Jesus is also preparing them for a time when he will leave them and they will have to carry on his work on earth. He is also preparing us.
Now is our time to build His kingdom on earth.
Only 3 parables are included by 3 of the gospel writers. The parable of the tenants is one of them. It must hold a vital message and information about the nature of Christ.
The other reading today was from Paul addressing the Christians in Philippi in about the mid 50's to early 60's AD.
I believe it is a clear and simple instruction. Please take note anyone, who like me, overthink everything and often feel vulnerable and afraid.
'Do not be anxious and don't worry about anything but instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and always be thankful for all that He has done for you.
Only then will you experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand'.