From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 16th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

We are ruled by our own need of being fair.  I see it in my kids all the time.  They see one of their siblings getting more candy or treats or some kind of special treatment, then they say it is unfair because they should get the same.  They play a game and aren’t doing so well and are getting beat, they claim it is unfair because they should be winning.  They look at other families and their friends’ dads and they wonder why life is so unfair that they got me (haha just kidding that never happens… pretty much).

We think that life should be fair.  We think people should be treated the same.  We believe that what goes around really should come around.

But it hardly does, and that is ok.  Because I often wonder how much we confuse life being “unfair” with life being “not in our favour.”  There is a big difference.  Often we feel ripped off when something good happens to others but not us, but when it does happen to us then we just feel lucky with little to no regard for those who it didn’t happen to.

The point is, we all will have ups and downs in life.  We all will be good or bad and different things.  We will at some point feel lucky and perhaps not so lucky.  But we are still in this together.  We are still regarded as God’s beloved children together.  We are still welcomed into God’s kingdom and abundantly blessed with overflowing grace and mercy.

The fact of the matter is, we should always feel lucky.

The readings for next week are:
Jonah 3:10–4:11
Psalm 145:1-8
Philippians 1:21-30
Matthew 20:1-16

I’ve always had trouble with texts like these because I always thought about how unfair they are.  I always thought those workers who worked more should get paid more, and those awful people of Nineveh should have gotten what was coming to them (which is all bad stuff).  But the stories tell us that God acted with grace upon those who really don’t deserve what they got.

Well, according to us, at least.

While we might see them as worthless, God sees them as worthy.  While we don’t think they deserve it, God cannot wait to reward them.  While we think we should get better treatment then, God says we are all given the same abundant blessing that fills up our lives with joy and peace regardless of what we’ve done or haven’t done or what we will do or won’t do.  God sees us all as valued members of God’s kingdom and treats us as such.  That is, with grace, mercy, and love.

I really don’t think we could ask for anything more.

Have a great week, everyone!

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