FAIR AND FREE
Grace is not fair…it is free. Generosity is not fair…it is free. Forgiveness is not fair…it is free. Kindness is not fair… it is free. But, all of these require responsibility from those who give them and receive them. We know how damaged we are by our ability to both give and receive what is fair and free.
So many parables of Jesus deal with the concepts of fair and free. Perhaps one of the most remarkable is the Hired Workers in the Vineyard in Matthew 20: A landowner hired workers and agreed to pay them a denarius (a full day’s wages) to work in his vineyard. He hired some at 9am, some at noon, some at 3pm and some at 5pm. At the end of the day the landowner paid them all the same regardless of the hour they went to work. The early workers bellyached that this was unfair (who wouldn’t?). It is because Fair and Free are very difficult concepts. Jesus replied:
“Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?” Yeah, but…..
“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.” Jesus