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Late Arrival

July 10, 2013

In His parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16), Jesus shares something that scares the wits out of me; His Grace. Why does that frighten me; after all it should be something that I revel in as it allows me to hope that I am not as irredeemable as society thinks. It just seems too good to be true, especially in this particular parable of Jesus’. Kathy (my wife) and I are members at the Chapel Hill Bible Church ( and we are surrounded by many who have lived faithful lives to Christ for many years. They are wonderfully welcoming and encouraging to me and have demonstrated over and over that there is a level of trust toward me that is heartening and harrowing at the same time.
The Grace demonstrated in the parable is frightening as it puts all of us on a level ‘playing field’ and that is something not many like. In the parable, those who worked through the heat of the day grumbled and complained at being made equal to those who only worked for an hour. I do wonder at times if any of those who have labored so faithfully for so long resent any who come to the ‘vineyard’ so late in life being made equal to them.
Perhaps, that “…still, small voice…” seems to be saying to me, the problem is not anyone else’s attitude, but mine. Do I resent those who have come to CHBC later and are viewed equally with me? Isn’t funny how when we turn things around like that? It reminds me of something someone once told me, that when we point a finger at others, we have three pointing back at ourselves.
So, what should this parable tell me of not only the Grace of God, but my sharing that with all I meet? Just that really; be as the Owner of the vineyard and accept as equals any and all who come, no matter how ‘late’ to the vineyard where the Owner has placed me.

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