October 10

Matthew 22:1-7

“But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them.” vss. 5-6

This parable obviously packed a punch for Pharisees when they heard it. They immediately ratcheted up their plans to eliminate Jesus–for them he was nothing but a troublemaker. For us it’s interesting, but not easily relatable–we don’t live in a time of regional kings and royal wedding celebrations. And it’s hard to understand why anyone would ignore an invitation to a banquet. But when we allow the story to linger a bit in our minds we begin to see some real parallels. Because we too are deeply involved in our own stuff, and for many there’s nothing more important than their personal economic well-being. And when there’s an invitation to become involved on a communal level to deal with serious global issues, many of us go our own way. And more than that, there are some who take offense at those who do respond to the invitation and who begin to work for the common good. They’re called do-gooders and radicals, a threat to the rights of free-born citizens, those who believe their highest calling is to do exactly what they please, regardless of consequences to others. That’s proven to be one of the most difficult things for modern thinkers to grasp–individualism and individual rights have such a grip on our culture that we’ve forgotten what it means to be “kids of the kingdom,” and members of the community of Christ.

Thought for the Day: What are my communal responsibilities?

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