God Economics

As I write, the signs that Spring has arrived are just outside my window.  The sun is out, the sky is blue, the trees are full of blossom, and the days are starting to get warmer.  After such a difficult and anxious winter, the signs of hope around us spring up.  Although we can’t see into the future of course, it appears that COVID cases in Australia, and particularly in the ACT are coming under control, for which we are deeply thankful.  Despite this, we continue to meet for worship cautiously and carefully, mindful of your safety at all times.  I am very thankful to our Parish Council Chair, Brian Hurrell, who is also our COVID supervisor, for his constant attention to detail in making sure that we not only comply with all regulations, but can worship together, in community, safely.  

In today’s Gospel we see an example of God’s economics.  We hear constant talk about ‘economics’ lately, especially the tension between the need to close down to ensure public health and safety, and the need to open up so that jobs and businesses can survive.  Of course, both are important, and there are good arguments on both sides for priority.  But the ‘God economics’ in this Gospel are a bit unusual and even a bit confronting.  They turn our ideas of fairness on their head.

In this Gospel, the vineyard owner hires workers, or fruit pickers, at the beginning of the day to harvest the grapes.  This is an urgent job that just needs to get done, so through the day he hires more and more workers from the market place.  The problem comes at the end of the day when he pays every worker the same amount of money no matter what time they started.  No-one got any extra, no-one got priority.  Those who’d toiled away all day, got the same wage as those who’d only been there for a few hours.  We may well agree with the workers. ‘Unfair’ they cry!  

In God’s economy, all our ideas of ‘fair’ get thrown out of the window.  Unlike the world’s economy where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, in God’s economy all are treated with generosity, all are treated with dignity, and all are welcome.

In peace, Mother Lynda