Archive for September 10, 2021

The Vineyard   Leave a comment

It was a good year for the wine industry. The harvest would yield a good crop. Though the drought hit some areas hard there were others where the rains came, measured by inches, and the vineyard flourished. But it was not easy finding enough workers to harvest the grapes. Those who did want work showed up early  seeing the sign posted, “Grape pickers wanted. A day’s wage paid for all who need or want work.”

 The landowner  sent them out to the fields with buckets. At 9:00, 12:00 noon, and 3:00 in the afternoon he went out and found more migrant farmers willing to work and sent them all out as well with their buckets promising them too a full day’s wage. At 5:00 p.m. there were still more again outside hanging around.  The land owner asked them, “Why are you all just standing around doing nothing?” One replied, “We could not find any work today.” So again he offered the last group the same day’s wage for the remainder of the day’s work to be done.

At closing time, he told his foreman to pay the last workers hired their full wage, and then those hired at 3:00 p.m. theirs, those hired at 12:00 noon theirs,, those hired at 9:00 a.m. theirs, and those from the first group hired early in the day, last.

But, the first group of workers complained and argued with him saying he owed them more because they were the first to be hired and worked the longest, in the heat of the day. “We should receive more for working a full day.”

The owner replied to them, “Friend, I told you like I told all the workers that you each would receive  the same amount, a full day’s wage. It was fair and according to our agreement. Don’t I have the right to hire and choose whomever I want, and pay what is owed them? Are you jealous that I paid them first what I paid all of you? Those who were hired last and paid first are entitled to the same as those hired first and paid last.  They are deserving of the same equal pay. Now, take your pay and go.”

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The above story in fiction, a modern day version of the parable similar to the one Jesus shared with his disciples as told  in the New Testament Bible in  Matthew 20: vs. 1- 14. It tells the story of the parable of the vineyard. In that day during biblical times a Denarius was a small silver coin, a Penney’s worth, but considered a full day’s wage. The land owner emphasized the importance to pay each and every worker their fair share, and his word was honored.

In the world today where the economy is suffering, some of it due to the pandemic, yet in other ways because of administrative decisions made   people complain because they don’t have any or too little and our government is helping those who still expect extra when there are numerous job opportunities  out there. And still businesses are closing, shutting down, or just trying to stay open with few employees to share the load and carry the burden for the weakened economy. This scripture passage of the parable of the landowner’s vineyard speaks about having integrity and equality for all, in our business ventures and in every area of life regardless of age, gender and race. It is in these times when we all can be reminded of the seeds and lessons in scripture to plant in our own soil, or soul  good seeds where it can produce good fruit. 

Joyce E. Mannhalter (C) Sept. 2021

 

 

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