Jesus tells the story of the two sons, who are both asked by their dad to work in the vineyard. One says, “Sure”, but he never shows up. The other says, “No way” but then he changes his mind and gets to work in the grapes. Jesus asks the Pharisees, “Which one did the will of his father?”
This is an interesting parable for those of us who live in grape country. When work needs to be done in the vineyard, it needs to be done. If it’s spring, the new vines need to be planted. It can’t be done next month, the vines won’t grow so well. If it’s pruning time, it can’t wait. And of course, if it’s harvest time, the grapes need to be picked. If you wait a month, the birds or the ground will get the fruit.
We are talking here about the family farm. Unlike the other vineyard stories which talk about hired workers, we are looking at owners here. It’s their farm, they have a vested interest in caring for it. The first son says the right thing, but doesn’t care enough to follow through. The other son refuses to go, but then, thinking of his responsibility, he does do the right thing.
We are part of God’s family; we say we are a Christian, many of us have have publicly promised to be a Christian, and we have good intentions to be a Christian. But when God’s work needs to be done, do we show up?
We all know people who aren’t Christians, but they are living and acting in a way that is so compassionate and caring, it amazes us. Who is doing the will of God?
This week’s prayer: Lord, forgive us for the times we have said and not done. Help us to live up to the baptismal vows we’ve spoken…