Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Loafing and Hiding

“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him. Matthew 21:28-32

I remember being small and having some real excitement about going to the doctors office. Some real genuine enthusiasm until my brother, three and a half years older, told me all of the horrible things doctors did to kids, including shots and other painful treatments. He described them in gory detail and I panicked. I climbed to the top of the refrigerator and stayed there. It took the whole family a great deal of coaxing to get me down. We often have the desire to be positive and do the right thing and can get thrown off course by simple teasing and fear mongering. Of we can get lazy, and decide that the work is for some one else. We can hide ourselves away and pretend that God is talking to another and needing another besides us.

Jesus was dealing with critics who would send his disciples into panic and confusion. They were so jaded by life, that they failed to see that God was calling them and reaching out tot hem in new ways. They hid behind their sophistication to avoid being changed - to avoid growing spiritually and serving others. The let fear and caution dictate avoiding God's joy and challenge in their lives.

It is easy, especially when the heat of summer comes on, to slough off God's call and direction in our lives. Summer is a time when many don't go to church, as if justice and caring in community can take a vacation. Today, I want to be strong and fight the urge to run from challenge and problems, but rather take on God's call, and work the field as I have been given. God promises to be with us as we serve others. May we all be empowered to work in the fields and give our lives to God in the service of our communities.

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