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Tuesday 13 December – “Alert to the unexpected”   Leave a comment

The Bible passages set for today are: Zephaniah 3: 1-2, 9-13 and Matthew 21: 28-32.

I came to today’s reflections tired after a long but productive working day. Then by mistake I read the Bible passages and notes for tomorrow. So I must admit to coming to today’s readings a little half-heartedly.  There is a sense of half-heartedness in that parable of the two brothers from Matthew. I am the eldest of 3 brothers.  I can well remember from my childhood the arguments that would ensure when one of us were asked by a parent to do a minor chore.  “It’s not my turn”, “what has so and so done?”, “I did it yesterday”, etc. Now being the parent and having seen similar in my children I can imagine how exasperating it was for my parents. So in Jesus’ parable I can hear the tones of voices of the two sons: one refusing to go and work in the vineyard when told but then eventually doing it; the other cheerily accepting the chore but never getting round to it.  It is difficult to see this parable as having any more depth than the “actions speak louder than words”. However Jesus goes on to draw out the point that it is not who you expect, he exemplifies “the harlots” and “tax-collectors”, who become part of the kingdom of God.

Similarly in Zephaniah, he talks of the “humble  and lowly” in the midst of a failing city finding pasture and security.

How do I take up my place in God’s kingdom?

Posted December 13, 2011 by Martyn Cooper in Advent 2011 Reflections

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