From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 17th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

So yesterday I was hanging out with a buddy, and he told me that he was in the market for a new motorcycle. And let me tell you, I felt a little jealous. Nothing against my buddy of course, he’s a great guy and the reason we were hanging out is because he actually gave up a pretty good chunk of his day to help me move some stuff (like big and heavy stuff that my kids wouldn’t be able to manage). It’s just that… I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle but I never got around to it.

Actually, it’s more like my life circumstance never allowed for it. I never had enough money or time to invest in it. I was always too busy with school, too poor from saving up for school, or just not in the practical to have a bike as a husband and father. And although I’m past all that now, it feels like I’ve missed the boat on that and would rather invest in something that makes more sense for my family and place in life.

My buddy, on the other hand, is married but has no kids. He spent less time in school than I did so he didn’t have as much in the way of debt when he entered the workforce. And he’s a few years younger than I am so he would probably look cooler on a motorcycle than I would at this point.

Sigh, some you win, some you lose, I guess. But really, it’s about circumstance and where we are. There are pluses and minuses in everyone’s situation so really there isn’t a point to compare as I’m sure we all have something that others are envious about as well. We all have our individual advantages, even if they aren’t what we were hoping for. We have our individual benefits, even when it doesn’t seem like it. We all have some kind of privilege in some way, even if we don’t recognize and acknowledge them.

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

Here we have stories and parables of people not recognizing their privilege. We have people comparing themselves to others, pointing out how unfair life is to them, and being so angry about it that they could die. Extreme much?

But it’s hard not to compare ourselves to others, especially in areas where we think we deserve more. It’s hard not to see where others benefit when we lack. It’s hard not feel a little slighted with how unfair life can seem to be.

In these times, it’s important to remember that life circumstances are different. Our current place in life is different. We are just different. And we all come with different privileges. Whether it be our gender, orientation, class, skin colour, or even religion, we have privilege in some shape or form. We mustn’t forget that when we are inevitably comparing ourselves to others.

Through it all, it’s also important to remember that God also treats us unfairly. Unfairly in that we all receive much more than we deserve. Unfairly in that we are given privilege that we didn’t earn. Unfairly in that we are all equally loved regardless of any metric we want to throw at it.

There’s no doubt that this world is full of ups and downs. But our God continues to regard us as God’s people, forgiven and healed, redeemed and restored, loved and saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. So we needn’t compare ourselves to each other, but rather rejoice in the mercy shown to all people, allowing us to live together in peace and community.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Josh Marshall on Unsplash