“Parable of the Workers for the Vineyard”
Matthew 20:8-16 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. `These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, `and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.' "But he answered one of them, `Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?' "So the last will be first, and the first will be last."
The mother asked the class, "who hasn't received an invite to my daughter's Birthday party yet?" One girl in the back of the class raises her hand. The mother walks over and gives her an invitation to the party being held the next day. The little girl was overjoyed to be going to the party.
If this had been an adult the reaction probably would have been different. Questions would have come to mind. Why was I not asked earlier? An attitude of offense would have prompted them not to attend. They could have seen the gesture as an affront to their worthiness. They would have been mad. Unlike the child who was happy to have been invited at all, the adult is upset over not being asked first.
God invites his people at different times. Some are invited after many trials, after many years. Often they are seen as less worthy than those who have been in the fold for years. Many remain questionable converts because of their lateness. Our renewal timetable governs our response to them. Refusing to see them as God’s little children and we show ourselves to be carbon copies of the day-long workers in the vineyard.