Monday, March 23, 2015

Daily Devotion for Lent 2015, Day 29

Daily Devotion for Lent

Monday, March 23, 2015, Day 29

Mark 12:1-12 (NRSV)

When Jesus tells this parable to the people around Jerusalem gathering for the Passover, his audience would immediately equate the vineyard with Israel.

Isaiah 5:1b-2 reads:
My beloved had a vineyard
    on a very fertile hill.
He dug it and cleared it of stones,
    and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watchtower in the midst of it,
    and hewed out a wine vat in it;
he expected it to yield grapes,
    but it yielded wild grapes.
Just in case the reader was not clear on the metaphor, in verse seven, Isaiah states, "For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel".
May we tend to the Vineyard in ways that honor Jesus Christ. 

As we see the parable, we equate the slaves sent to collect from the vineyard as the prophets.  We see that some were indeed killed, the latest being John the Baptist.

When Jesus tells about the son being sent, we immediately interpret this today theologically in terms of Jesus as the Son of God which we know to be part of the Trinity.  However, when he told this parable, the son of God would have been interpreted as the Messiah - the King of Israel from the line of David.  The parable would be seen as revolutionary and it was no surprise that they wanted to arrest him.  If there were Roman soldiers present, it is likely that Jesus would have been arrested sooner.

The caretakers of the Vineyard - the Pharisees as interpreters of the Law and the Herodians as overseers of the priesthood - are cast down in this parable.  This would have been highly offensive to either one because they obviously thought they were doing a decent job in the midst of a bad situation (under foreign occupation).

Jesus didn't agree with them.

For all of the preceding lessons, we are seeing a movement to lift up the downtrodden and help those without a voice.

As we consider this passage for our spiritual lives today, we have to then ask if we as the Church are doing all that we can to reach those in today's society that would be considered on the outside looking in?

I don't want to be seen as the one who abused the messenger of God and I certainly want us to offer the fruit of the vine to all of God's children.

Prayer from Mother Teresa:

Make us worthy, Lord, 
   to serve our fellow people throughout the world
   who live and die in poverty and hunger.  
Give them, through our hands, 
   this day their daily bread, 
   and by our understanding love, 
   give peace and joy.  

Prayer by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 20th Century

Picture, "Picking Grapes in Berat" by d_proffer (Flickr  Uploaded by albinfo) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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