Dear Vineyard Workers,
I read something years ago in the “Minsters’ Manuel,“ by James W. Crawford. The words made me uncomfortable. However, I photocopied them and keep them with some other papers where I know that I will see them from time to time.
“In Christ’s vineyard, in contrast to every other vineyard we know, our degrees of seniority, our years of distinguished service, our titles- vice president, chairperson, dean, doctor, professor, honorable, reverend, whatever-are irrelevant to the overriding question: Are you immersed in and compelled by love? Are you serving others and seeking creative community among others? Is your discipleship exercised from a community founded to heal the wounds caused by the conceit of birthrights, the arrogance of racial identities, the disparities of privilege rooted in gender-indeed, all of our pathetic definitions of success reflected in status income, residence, and luck? These distinctions dissolve in the vineyard of Christ.” ( James W. Crawford “Ministers’ Manuel “ San Francisco: Jossey-Bass,Inc. 1998, p.19)
You may not like these words. I am fine with that reaction. But I pray you wrestle with why you feel the way you do, versus discarding the quote as irrelevant.
See Matthew 20:1-16 for further reflection.
We hope to see all of you at “The Well” Zoom gathering tonight. Zach Herzog will be our leader for the evening. Let Vikki Luce firstname.lastname@example.org know if you are not on the invitation list. We’ll continue our conversation on how to hear the voice of God.
Still in one peace,
Pastor David J. Jensen