One of our Gospel readings today shows that grace just doesn’t make sense. In Matthew 20, Jesus tells a parable (story) about someone that hires help. He hires some first thing in the morning, and then throughout the day, hires more. Then at the end of the day, he gives the payment. The last ones hired get a full day’s pay, and then listen to what happens in Matthew 20: 10-14:
10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage.* 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” 13But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?* 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?”
It doesn’t make sense for those that worked the longest to receive as much as those that only worked for an hour. It isn’t fair. It just doesn’t seem right.
That is how grace works. It is not fair. It is not deserved. It is not earned. It is given. And it is received.
Grace is not earned. Grace is not earned. Grace is not earned. That is something that we need to say to ourselves over and over again. We love to hear it, but it doesn’t really make sense. Part of us still wants to earn that grace. Part of still wants to earn God’s approval. Part of us still wants to make God love us.
But. You. Don’t. Have. To. God simply loves you. It is not something you earn. The people that came last in the story didn’t deserve a full day’s pay. They simply were given it. And those that labored the entire day? They too were given that pay.
Now, for those us that are Christian, it may not seem fair. Why do I labor? Why do I work? Why do I try to be faithful when there are deathbed confessions? When other’s don’t try? When the world seems to be crazy.
This is why. When are walking with God, there is nothing better. Grace is not earned. And for those us that have been walking with God the longest, goodness, how blessed are we? I mean, we’ve had many days/weeks/years of grace and life and being fulfilled. Walking daily with God, working for God, living for God, it is literally the best life you can have.
Those that wait until the end, they missed out on fully living this life.
Because what is this life about? Where is this life found?
Today, know you can’t/don’t have to earn it. Just receive it. Even if it doesn’t make sense.