We know that God is good, don’t we? This Christmas season I’d like to remember exactly that. Plus, that He’s generous. He lives to give. Not based on our merit, but all because of His love and mercy. Jesus said–‘…the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’ (Matt. 20:28).
Jesus gives, not only to a few, but to many then and there, here and now. Christmas models the call to serve rather than be served, giving little thought of what comes back to us for a change.
Jesus’ parable of the vineyard workers exhibits God’s goodness and generosity. The vineyard needs harvesting. Breadwinners hang around looking for work. Some sweat and slave all day long. More eager beavers are required. They’re hired but plug away for only part of the day. Finally, even more are brought on board for only an hour or so.
Do they receive proportional wages as I would give? An hour’s wage for an hour’s work? And no more? Can’t count on my generosity! Shockingly, the vineyard owner pays all the workers the same amount, regardless of time and toil.
Those who plug away and knock themselves out from dawn ’til sunset blow a gasket. Seems most unfair. A raw deal. But the vineyard owner says this–‘Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ (Matt. 20:15). That zinger hits home. My hardhearted teflon fails. For God is both good and generous.
How about being some of both this Christmas? I don’t mean only with money and things. How about good and generous words of encouragement? Listening to someone? Reading the Christmas stories in your Bible? Telling someone about the gift of Jesus? Wishing some sour soul a ‘Merry Christmas’?
I’m sure you can think of lots more, can’t you? Whatever they are, do them. How generous of you…and me!
Thank you, Jesus, for being so good and generous to me. Amen.