Scripture: Matthew 20:1-16
Key verses: (14-15) “Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?”
Reflection: Happy Thanksgiving! Today we pause from our regular routines to give thanks for the many blessings we have. You might gather with family or friends or you might have some quiet time alone today. Take the time to reflect on your life and to be grateful.
Comparing ourselves to other people can be a gratitude “buster.” Today’s passage is a challenging parable about God’s grace. A landowner goes out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. Then he went out again at nine to get more workers; he went again at noon; he went again at three in the afternoon; and finally he went out at five. When the work day ended, the owner gave each worker the same daily wage. Those who had worked all day grumbled because it wasn’t fair. The landowner reminds the workers that the wage was what they agreed upon and that it is his (the landowner’s) discretion to negotiate with each group of workers.
We might be tempted to compare ourselves to others and think “it’s not fair.” Why do good things happen to bad people? (a twist on the usual question!) Why do some people have more than we do? Why do some people gloat about being “#blessed” when we might be struggling?
Perhaps we need to shift our focus from “more” to “enough.” Do you have enough? Do you have what you need? Give thanks. Find contentment in what is enough. Ask God to shift your focus from your material blessings to your spiritual blessings. Give gratitude to God for forgiveness, for glimpses of love, for moments of peace, for expressions of joy.
Prayer: For the good world; for things great and small, beautiful and awesome; for seen and unseen splendors; Thank you, God. For human life; for talking and moving and thinking together; for common hopes and hardships shared from birth until our dying; Thank you, God. Above all, O God, for your Son Jesus Christ, who lived and died and lives again for our salvation; for our hope in him; and for the joy of serving him; Thank you, God. Amen.
(Prayer adapted from the Book of Common Worship, p. 792-3)
Author: Millie Snyder
[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].