“He expected justice, but found bloodshed, integrity, but only a cry of distress.” Isaiah 5:7
What a few days: President Trump in hospital with Covid -19. And all the fallout…what of his vineyard?
Pope Francis in Assisi. Proclaiming the continuing example of St Francis and his love for all creation. What of his vineyard?
And we…asked to ponder this weekend, a double dose of the “vineyard”!
We have received a tradition of almost 3000 years of being reminded of the love our God has for His vineyard, be it our individual yard or that of the whole people of God. On the one hand is the recurring theme of the love of God and His expectation that it would yield grapes, and on the other the huge disappointment when only sour grapes appear. The ultimate disappointment is the wanton destruction of all the messengers that were sent, including Jesus, and the many since 33 CE who have been destroyed by ungrateful tenants.
There are those who seek to undermine and destroy the current chief messenger, particularly as he continues to unveil his new yet ancient teaching, “Fratelli Tutti” (Where is your brother?) This phrase from the Book of Genesis has been on Pope Francis’ lips from very early days in his pontificate. It is the title of his latest Encyclical signed in Assisi on October 3. The vision he keeps proclaiming and fundamentally asking believers to practise, is that faith leads a believer to see in the other, a brother, a sister, to be supported and loved. The anthem played incessantly on your ABC. “We are one, but we are many” contains much derived from the vineyard, but too often fails the sour grape test in practise.
So, we are asked to look carefully at our personal vineyard this weekend. It may need pruning. It may need fertilising. It may need harvesting. We hope it is not destined to be destroyed.
Whatever the analysis, the words of the Psalm today are apt, “God of hosts …visit this vine and protect it”
And we in turn say, “And we shall never forsake you again”.