In the gospel this week, we find a landowner hiring people all day long to work in His vineyard. The rub comes at the end of the day when everyone gets paid the same amount. The people hired first think they should get more since they worked all day. We aren’t sure how the ones who came last feel, but we can imagine they are pretty happy having received a full day’s wages for working a short day.
At first blush, we don’t blame the early birds for being upset. Truthfully, it does seem unfair. But we need to remember. This is one of Jesus’ parables so He is making an important point.
Let’s bring the story into current times. New people join a church and, for the most part, get treated just like the people who came decades before. That’s not right, the pillars of the community say. What a welcoming church, the newcomers say.
I think Jesus would say that everyone is missing the point. The long timers have the advantage of having experienced many years in this beloved church. The short timers have completely missed that experience. But since God is giving and generous, both groups are rewarded with the same pay, eternal life.
After all, it is God’s church.