It’s Not Easy Being Green

“Or are you envious because I am generous?”  The landowner asks in the parable which we will read in worship on Sunday, Sept 21st.  (For the entire thing, check out Matthew 20:1-16)


I think I can answer that.  Ummm..yup.


When I was in college, my list of envy was long.  Mostly, I was envious of those students from more wealthy backgrounds who had their own computers (rare in my day—we used these ancient things called computer labs).  I was envious of those with sports cars (I drove a Mercury Topaz).  I was envious of those who didn’t have to have a job (I had 3!) and could get up late, study for a couple hours, then lay in the park all afternoon, and end the day with dinner and a movie with friends.


Never did it cross my mind, however, that some might have been envious of me:  the one with a car, job responsibilities, and pretty decent grades.  Never did it cross my mind that my hard work was a reward in itself.


Envy is an interesting thing.  It gives us tunnel vision: the inability to see beyond our own obsessions, and our own ideals about fairness.  Envy can easily become its own prison.


In the Greek, Jesus is actually using a phrase for envy that means “the evil eye.” 


How marvelous it is that Jesus can see us in our envy, and loves us enough to turn our world over, widen our vision, and all the while, deal with each of us gracefully.



O God, widen our view of your mercy.  Amen.


The Colour Green by Max Damore



SPECIAL BONUS:  A Mini-Bible Study!


A few questions to ponder this week, with a Christian friend, after reading Matthew 20:1-16


1.  What or who are objects of my envy, and why?


2.  Taking the minority perspective for a moment, how do you think the ones hired last felt when they received the daily wage, even though they did not work for a full day?


3.  Why do you think it is so hard for humans to be content?


4.  Share one joy and one concern with your partner, and take turns praying for each other.

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