Our scripture this week is Matthew 21:33-46.
“Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
In His parable Jesus speaks of the landlord sending his servants to collect his fruit. He reminds us that we are to bear fruit for the kingdom and that God will someday require an accounting of what we have produced. While we can’t buy or earn our way to salvation, God expects us to use the gifts we’ve been given for the good of His children.
Our lives are intended for more than simply accumulating wealth. We have an obligation to God and each other to use His resources wisely. When we become preoccupied with earthly things, we neglect the charge we have been given to bear fruit worthy of repentance (Matthew 3:8).
However, God’s love is always there for us, waiting for our acceptance of His mercy and forgiveness. Only then can we become effective workers for His kingdom. When we see the purpose for which we were created, we can become fruitful stewards of His gifts, producing a harvest of love for all.
Gracious God, we are often ungrateful servants, ignoring the bounty You have given and the needs of Your children. Help us to hear Your call and respond in love. Amen.