Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.
Today’s text brings a dark note to the Advent season. Here we see Jesus as an adult, using story to reflect on some harsh realities. This adult Jesus tells us a parable, a story that is meant to be unpacked. The landowner represents God, the one who created the vineyard and entrusted the care of it to the tenants. When “the season came,” the landowner sent three different servants (prophets) to collect his share of the produce, but the tenants beat them and sent them away empty-handed. Then finally the landowner sent his beloved son hoping that the tenants would respect him. This son is the very Christ child whom we await, and the tenants, greedy for the inheritance, killed him.
As we prepare in Advent for God to come close, this text forces us to look ahead to the cross. We have to hold both in mind: the hopeful beginning and sad end of Jesus’ life. In doing so we can acknowledge the reality that we are the tenants who kill Jesus in this parable. It is a harsh truth to unpack. However it confirms what we already know—that we need Jesus to come. Jesus, who never doubted God’s ultimate triumph over injustice, comes into our broken world to rebuild it.
Lord, help us to be brave as we face the brokenness in the world and within ourselves. Teach us to yearn for your presence, live into your grace, and trust in your justice that will surely come. Amen.