Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rejected Cornerstone

And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country. When the season came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

And they were seeking to arrest him but feared the people, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them. So they left him and went away.

Sometimes people get too comfortable with the place they are and the way they live. They will do anything to hold on to the power and control they have, rejecting any thing or any one who asks them to change for their own good and the good of the community. The behavior of manipulation and abuse is always eventually exposed and can destroy everyone involved. A small amount of change, participation and stewardship can prevent destruction but some humans would rather destroy everything and everyone to hold on to power.

Today Jesus is confronted by the religious leaders. He has just thrown the money changers out of the temple and they are very angry. Their control and power has been diminished and they want answers. Jesus does not respond to their fury with fury, but rather, he tells them a story. A story that rings painfully true to them. God's beloved will survive anything that the selfish and hateful can dish out, and God's reign will come no matter what is thrown at them. God's agenda is love not control, and love offered is the strength we hold on to in times of trial and abuse.

Today I ask God to help me cling to the chief cornerstone, letting go of any worries and pains. May we pray for those who persecute and reject us, knowing that God's agenda is always love and that as we live in love we will be built up and fortified. May we be renewed in God's love today for the service of the world.

1 comment:

Don Burr said...

Yes, sometimes I feel like the rejected stone. All will be well.