And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone’?
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” Luke 20:9-18
As we get closer to Christmas, more and more sparkles are added to the decorations. We sat the other night and made hand made ornaments - all of ours are in storage - complete with glue and glitter. We were a happy glittery mess, and sure than we had aspirated a good deal of the glitter or will ingest it with our meals to come. The glitter got everywhere, and we have ornaments for our tree that will reflect the tree lights and brighten the whole room.
Jesus tells a parable about greedy tenants who ignorantly think they can muscle their way to control of another's vineyards and land. They reject the overtures of the owners servants and his son. They think to own that which was never theirs and will never be theirs. Humans often reject the greatest gifts because they don't sparkle like dime store glitter. We often envy and harm others because we lust after their diamonds and property. God invites us today to know that we are not the true owners of what we have been given, but rather caretakers, of precious gifts. It is with eyes of gratitude that we will see what is truly precious, the diamond in the rough, the Emmanuel, God with us, coming to us in this season.
Today I ask God to help me be ever thankful for all the blessings of this life. May we be grateful and generous, as God has been more generous and patient with us. May we see every face today, as a diamond in the rough, a reflection of God's presence among us, the depth of blessings that God has showered on each of us. May we share what we have, welcoming each as we would the Christ's child, making room in our hearts and home for love made real to all.