Today’s reflection on Matthew 20:1-16 by our Assistant Program Director, Angie Smith.
Our reading today ends with the familiar warning, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” When something is repeated in the Bible, we should pay attention to it. No one would have waisted ink and paper in the ancient world if it wasn’t important. Are you paying attention?
Are you paying attention to the ways in which you have been selfish? Have you been hoarding supplies? Have you been going out for no reason other then you have some cabin fever? It’s easy to be selfish when our world is falling apart. But, here’s the important thing, we have multiple warnings from Jesus about what happens when we act selfishly.
The landowner makes a deal with a group of workers, he then makes another deal with a different group of workers. He keeps his end of the deal by paying the workers the amount of money they agreed to. However, the first workers decided that they were worth more because they had been hired first. The landowner tells them that he has done nothing wrong. He kept his to his word and so should they. “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
It would be so easy to turn away from what is going on in the world and hide away in our homes with our hobbies of choice. But we aren’t called to hide from the world. We are called to be in the world, to care for the world, to give of ourselves for the life of the world.
You should take care of yourself at this time. Read a book. Watch your favorite television show. Have cookies for breakfast. But in between those things call the people that sit near you at church. I know we’ve had some wonderful volunteers making phone calls, but another phone call won’t hurt anyone. We need to stay connected to one another at this time. Send some snail mail. This would be a great time to get back into the habit of writing letters and sending cards.
I’ll leave you with another Tolkien quote, “Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”