Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Friday, December 5

I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.
—Luke 20:13b

This story has always perplexed me. A generous landowner leases a vineyard to some tenants and then sends his servants, one by one, to collect his share of the land’s bounty. Instead of honoring their landlord’s bidding, the tenants beat the servants and throw them out empty-handed. Then after his third servant is sent away, the landlord sends his son, thinking the tenants will respect him more. But, of course, they do not. They kill him.

The implication of the lesson is clear—God sent many people to the world to show love, compassion and grace. When the people of Israel had forgotten who they were and fallen from the life of grace, God would raise up a prophet to remind them.

But again and again, the people would not listen, threw the prophet out, and failed to be who they were created to be. And so for us God sent his only begotten Son. And Jesus too came, preached God’s grace and mercy, called us to remember the outcasts and come back to who we were created to be—and we cast him out as well. We crucified God’s gift. We said no to grace.

And yet God comes at us again and again. The death and resurrection of Jesus remind us that God has loved us infinitely, and no matter how often we have betrayed God’s trust in us, no matter how often we have failed to be who we are in God’s image, there is another chance.

Could it be that this year you will find a child in Bethlehem that you pick up and embrace? Could this be the year when you accept Jesus as he is, and more importantly, that through your acceptance of him as he is, you accept you as you are?

For behold, the owner of the vineyard is saying “I will send my beloved; perhaps they will respect him.”

God of all mercy, you gave me your beloved that I might know your grace; help me to trust in myself and rely on the gift of your son that I might become who you created me to be. Amen.