Subversion vs Fairness
“You’re telling me I can’t do what I want with my own money? I’m supposed to be a stinker because you got your nose out of joint? All I did was have a fun idea. I decided to put the last first and the first last to show you there are no insiders or outsiders here; when I’m happy, everybody’s happy, no matter what they did or didn’t do. I’m not asking you to like me, Buster; I’m telling you to enjoy me. If you want to mope, that’s your business. But since the only thing it’ll get you is a lousy disposition, why don’t you just shut up and go into the tasting room and have yourself a free glass of Chardonnay? The choice is up to you, Friend: drink up, or get out; compliments of the house, or go to hell. Take your pick.”
-Robert Farrar Capon
Scripture Reading: Matthew 20:1-16
What the Parable of the Laborers (and Capon’s paraphrase of the final act of it that we quoted today) exposes is that we spend far too often looking at other people and thinking of them as other. To the detriment of ourselves! When we look at the other and focus on finding some way for them to be punished, we aren’t elevating ourselves; we only gain a “lousy disposition” and lose out on enjoying the outrageous grace of God! So this week, take some time to really listen to someone you perceive as other. It might be someone of a different political persuasion, or a different racial makeup, or a different religion, or what-have-you. Intentionally seek out reliable, level-headed voices from that other side and prayerfully listen to what they have to say.
Ask questions, share thoughts and wrestle together about your experiences from the material this week.