In this week’s edition of our weekly Wednesday newsletter, Scott reflects on grace, writing that “the church isn’t a social club with membership tiers. The church is a grace factory where we never run out.”
Dear friends in Christ,
This coming Sunday, the lessons include the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. You probably know the story: a landowner hires some day laborers. Some work all day, but near the end of the day, the landowner hired a few laborers. When it was time to pay them, they all received a day’s wages. Those who had worked all day were upset, saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” But the landowner reminded them that they too had received a day’s wages for doing a day’s work.
It’s a parable of grace. You see, in God’s economy, there is no zero sum reality. Those who worked all day got fully paid for their work, and there was still enough to pay those who came at the last minute. It isn’t fair, for sure. But it is abundant. There was enough for everyone. Thanks be to God.
If you start to work out the meaning of this way of thinking, it is astounding. When we repent, God offers forgiveness to all, no matter what we have done. That works for me, and it works for you, and it works for those whose sins we loudly or quietly condemn. The fact that God embraces someone else does not detract from God’s embrace of me.
The person who shows up to your church this Sunday looking for air conditioning or some free coffee or some good music or a moment of silence or whatever…that person has just as much claim on belonging in God’s house as the person who has been a faithful servant for decades. The person who knows the Bible and the prayer book and all the rules is no better than the person who isn’t quite sure about all of this and is seeking some kind of peace–those people are both beloved in God’s sight. The church isn’t a social club with membership tiers. The church is a grace factory where we never run out. All receive their share.
Today, think about how there is always more than enough. Ponder that in your own life, and look at those around you. God’s grace comes from a well that never runs dry. Drink deeply, and maybe you’ll offer an invitation to someone else who is thirsty. There is always more than enough.