Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving - Enough For All

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.” Matthew 20:1-16

We are enjoying a Thanksgiving with my husband's family, feasting on a light tasty lunch and waiting on the Turkey that is cooking away. We have lots to be thankful for - a wonderful family, beautiful healthy daughters, a wonderful granddaughter and a large extended family. Many people are without today, and many are hungry, estranged from their families and alone in the world. As we celebrate and enjoy each other's company, I am reminded that there are many folks waiting all day for a small meal, many waiting to be hired for a few hours, many who have very little to celebrate. It is easy to bemoan our challenges, but in the face of so many others who are in need, how can we not feel blessed and touched by abundance.

Jesus is talking about the reign of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, the expression of God's love breaking through to our broken world. In God's garden, we are invited to see that there is enough for everyone - enough work, enough food, enough love and relationship so that no one is alone. We live in a very broken world, and selfishness and hoarding keep us from seeing the beauty and abundance of God's reign. But God's desire for us is to live in the abundance and blessing of God desire.

Today, as we celebrate, may we remember the blessings and abundance from God, and share that abundance in the days to come. As the world turns dark, may we be a force for light, as the world turns cold, may we be instruments of tenderness and warmth. May God's abundance increase our compassion, so that we might carry the love of God where ever we go.

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