The readings (Exodus 16.2-5, Philippians 1.21-30 and Matthew 20.1-16) are examples of the kindness and generosity of God reaching out - of and the contrast with our human focus on entitlement, fairness and justice. This is the same kindness and generosity Lucille and I recently experiences in visiting John Sandford and his son Mark in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
1. God is generous and kind to the Hebrew people
When the Hebrew people are grumbling about the lack of food in the desert, God is generous kind.
- · God kindly overlooks their rebellious grumbling
- · Generously rains down bread in the form of manna, and meat in the form of quail.
- · Not just basic rations but a generous display of Gods' kindness and generosity
2. Paul is generous and kind to the Philippians
On my trip to Turkey, Greece and Albania I was deeply impressed by how far the Apostle Paul travelled on foot over hot and difficult terrain. I was also in awe of his love and courage in proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ to a pagan culture (like ours) under constant harassment from fundamentalist Jews.
- · Paul had seen Heaven and Jesus, and looks forward eagerly to being with Jesus in Heaven
- · He is torn between his love of Jesus and his desire to share the good news of forgiveness and spiritual life with the people of Philippi.
- · He is generous and kind to the Philippians by remaining in this life, so he can continue to encourage and support them in the development of their spiritual lives.
3. The Landowner is kind and generous to his workers (us)
The landowner is of course God who as our creator owns everything. This means He can do whatever He wants with His creation. Notice the contrast between God's and human behavior:
- · God kindly gets up early and goes in search of workers - the workers do not all get up early, and do not go to the landowner for work
- · God very kindly and generously makes five trips to the market to reach out to the workers
- · God rewards each worker equally, giving dignity and self-worth to heal the "looser "mentality of those hired last
- · Workers grumble and complain at the kindness and generosity of the landowner
· Lesson is: Kingdom kindness and generosity trumps fairness and justice
This was our experience in visiting John Sandford and his son Mark, who has taken over the Elijah House healing ministry in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. John who is 88 and suffering from Parkinson's', spent six hours with me, going through a 93 page manuscript for the second time. He edited every missing coma and gave me wise theological advice on Strongholds. He helped me see that Strongholds (common patterns of thinking like liberalism and homosexuality) are what Jung defined as Archetypes. This was the missing piece in the manuscript puzzle, linking my secular psychological explanation of self-deception with my Biblical explanation of how the demonic blinds, confuses and deceives humans into destructive and false beliefs. It was the ultimate answer to my manuscript question of "why things go wrong" - and why you can't argue with a terrorist (or liberalism or homosexual).
· I was also overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of Mark Sandford and his wife Maureen who spent four hours with us, encouraging us in healing ministry and advising me on publishing the manuscript
Kindness and Generosity trumps fairness and justice