Scripture: Luke 20:9-18
Key verses: (9-13) He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time. 10 When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants in order that they might give him his share of the produce of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 Next he sent another slave; that one also they beat and insulted and sent away empty-handed. 12 And he sent still a third; this one also they wounded and threw out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’
Reflection: This seems to be a strange scripture for advent. We usually have the beautiful passages of Isaiah of waiting and watching. We have stories of Elizabeth and Mary and the anticipation of babies. This is the parable I like the least, definitely the one that makes me the most uncomfortable. Jesus used parables to teach but also to push people out of their comfort zone. Parables are meant to cause us to see our lives differently. Jesus used these parables to reveal that the Kingdom of God was going to bring about change. Just like traditional stories, parables stick in our minds and even our hearts guiding us if we are listening.
Advent is a time of watching and waiting, preparing for God’s son to come and change lives. Maybe this scripture invites us to put ourselves in the place of the tenants, as the owner of the vineyard sends his beloved son. What will be our response? Will we continue as if the owner is not even part of this world or will we allow the son to enter and bring about some change?
God, we want to make room for you…
we want our lives to be changed by your advent.
So speak to us in our busy-ness and our quietness…
our uneven-ness and our level-ness…
our roughness and our smoothness…
so your glory might be revealed to us.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].