When the Owner of the Vineyard Comes

When the Owner of the Vineyard Comes

God is the consummate landowner. Having formed it with his hands, God was there first to stake his claim to the whole earth. And he did. But apparently God didn’t want to farm it by himself. He decided to let humans work his land. Down through history, God has had an interesting array of sharecroppers.

First, there were Adam and Eve. They did well naming the farm animals and tending the garden, but they failed to recognize the prerogative of the garden owner to draw boundary lines. They seized the forbidden fruit in an attempted garden takeover. They were expelled.

Then there was Israel. In Isaiah 5, we read about her sharecropping experience. God provided the start-up for the vineyard venture. “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.” But when harvest time came, God got cheated. He expected choice grapes, and they gave him sour ones. He expected justice and got a crop of violence (v. 1-7). He expelled them, too.

You’d think by the time we get to Matthew 21 God would have learned that humans are not to be trusted with his prime farmland. But, once more, God risks partnership. When harvest time comes, he sends his servants to collect his share of the crop. I think one of them was named John the Baptist. They killed the ones who came before John, and then they killed John. So God sent his Son. They killed him, too. Expelled his dead body from the vineyard without even a proper burial.

Advent: Waiting on the Owner of the Vineyard

Advent is about waiting for the coming of God. The question is asked, “When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do …?” What would you do?

I know what I would do. And apparently the people who heard the parable (Matthew 21:33-46) agree with me. Enough is enough. Kill the jerks. And give the vineyard to those who will appreciate the chance to farm with God.

Do you know anybody who would appreciate a chance like that?

Prayer Focus:  May we yield the fruit of our life to the One who gave it to us.

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