I have not bought the turkey, nor the ham; no stuffing, potatoes, green beans or yams…not one item purchased for the looming, traditional meal. Maybe I will just get one of those grocery store ‘kits’ that has everything loaded and ready to warm?! I have not yet started my Christmas gift shopping; feeling neither vaguely festive nor juicily creative enough to contemplate the ‘perfect gifts’ for those I love. Maybe I will just do gift cards and let all figure out something they want, need or desire?! This year, I fear I have grooved to the vineyard-weary, recalcitrant son!
Matthew 21:28-32, The Parable of the Two Sons
“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
I understand the emotions of this parable so much more in the later chapters of my life. Sandwich-generational in duty and obligations. My plate overfull with civic, social and church commitments and my patience thinned by divisive politics, rampant commercialism and territorial skirmishes. Surely it is someone else’s turn this year; to cook for the family, help the poor and make merry the home and hearth? I am tired of critical deadlines, unavoidable commitments and last-minute miracles. I WILL NOT GO TO THE VINEYARD!!
Sigh! My flesh is so weak. I am in love with a God who never takes His eye off me or withholds help or assurance, who constantly showers me with love and grace. Yet here I resentfully stew; recalcitrant in the blessing of serving as Christ’s ambassador and tangible assistant-- in times set aside and marked to celebrate the many God-granted gifts my life is steeped in.
And so, I pray, as I know He is always on call for me; I pray asking for perspective and better mirroring of the God I serve and the flock he asks me to meander with. “Here I am, Lord.” I will go.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am assured that Your yoke is light. Fuel my desire to serve Your plan, always. May I hunger for Your callings and lavish in the privilege to do Your will; because you allow me and have confidence that I can truly mirror Your grace to others.
submitted by a Chaplain John Holzhüter