Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others 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.’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then 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 amazing in our eyes’?”
When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away. Mark 11:27—12:12
I would like to believe I take rejection well, but I know myself and am often angry, hurt and despondent after being rejected from a position or something I wanted to be a part of. In a very short time, I can hear my mother's voice saying, " Carol Joy, God is protecting you from something, keeping you safe for another wonderful new thing we can't even imagine yet." Of course she was right and there isn't anything good that comes from moping.
Jesus's parable about the vineyard tenants set the religious leader on edge and they want to crush him. They fear him because they want the love, position and power that they recognize in Jesus. The people who are in power can often be abusive to those who threaten their perfect little world. We who have roles of leadership can easily be tempted into holding on to what we have and pushing others away. God invites us today to share the gifts, the vineyards which have been given to our care, and be thankful for the roles we have been given for the time we have them.
Today, I ask God to help me honor the vineyard I serve in by sharing all that I have been freely given freely. May jealousy and greed be rid from our lives so we can see and embrace the "wonderful new thing we can't even imagine yet."