Psalm 5, 6 Isaiah 1:21–31 1 Thessalonians 2:1–12 Luke 20:9–18
In love is patience always found, for love kind hearts make common ground; from love conceit and pride take flight and jealously is banished. Love keeps no score of what’s wrong nor sings a pessimistic song nor lets regret or guilt prolong for love expects tomorrow. (from “Should I Rehearse with Human Voice” by John Bell)
In today’s parable Jesus reveals something of the risk of loving. The owner of the vineyard sent one, two, then a third servant to his tenants. They were beat up and cast out. Then he sent his son—and they killed him. God’s human creatures have thus responded to such love from that time until this.
The God of love and hope refuses to let go or give up. God keeps loving even those who reject all Godly overtures – even until they break and destroy themselves by their own resistance. God loves men and women at their worst; “…while we were yet sinners Christ died for us,” wrote Paul (Romans 5.8) “I will send my beloved son,” said the owner of the vineyard, “perhaps they will respect him.”
The God who took such a risk on our behalf has every right to expect us to take some risks on behalf of our fellow beings. We have a position of trust and responsibility in the vineyard of our God; it is to love our brothers and sisters in the human family. This is our primary vocation, regardless of our various avocations. There’s a risk to this kind of loving. There are times when those we love are not able to understand, receive or assimilate such love. Then we are hurt and frustrated; we pull back and become cautious about extending our love to others.
Loving others does involve pain and suffering, discomfort and inconvenience. At the same time, the very effort to love serves to stretch our souls and enlarge our capacity for enrichment. At least we are truly alive when we reach out in love and hope—whether that love and hope is responded to or not.
– Sue House