Far More Than We Deserve

This parable of the vineyard had always held for me the mystery of sunlight shining through fog. I was sure something wonderful was there but couldn’t quite make out exactly what. I once figured that the owner of the vineyard kept retuning for more workers because he didn’t want to lose his harvest. It reminded me of working a hayfield with six of my friends till 2 am. A thunderstorm was rolling in and hay left in the field might be spoiled so we labored till the first drops of rain started falling. But the story of this man returning over and over to the town square till almost quitting time just seemed odd.

Why did he hire men even when it was almost quitting time and why pay them the same as the others? After all the guys who only worked one hour certainly weren’t producing enough to even cover their wage. But then I remembered that when the owner hired those fellows he asked why they were standing around all day and they told him ,”because no one hired us.” They had stayed because they clung to hope even as the afternoon shadows grew longer.

And isn’t that the wonderful depth of the grace of Jesus? He doesn’t come until even the final hours because he cares about hay ruined in his field or grapes left on the vine. He comes over and over looking for us. The lostness of people who no one else wants, who stand abandoned in the town square stirs God’s heart to action! So with whatever few hours we have in His field let’s work with joy, knowing that from the depths of His grace we will receive far more than we deserve on the day we stand before Him!

No Room

And brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

While there is some question as to what an inn might have been in ancient Bethlehem there is no doubt that it was a place where they could stay. The urgent need of Mary to give birth was less urgent than the needs of others on that night.

Not much has changed in our 21st century world of push and hurry. Everyone seems to have an immediate demand for time attention and most importantly, money. But in the storm of wishes and wants it seems that even in His own church there is often no room for his birth. We are so involved in a thousand activities that quiet safety for newborn faith is turned out in the cold.

Thank God for his plan to call shepherds angels and strange Wiseman to we welcome God’s Son to Bethlehem.

Compared to the wonderful preparations of the Father the inn can be a cold and lonely place. Let’s go out to the barn, listen to Angel choirs and kneel beside the Magi and worship Christ the Lord!