With Washed Eyes: Care for God's People

In the parable at the center of my sermon on Sunday, God’s Economy, Jesus told the story of a landowner who hires workers to pick grapes for a day. Some start before dawn, others are hired at about 5:00 PM in the evening. In the end, they are all paid the same wage (Matthew 20:1-16)

Of course, there was grumbling from those who worked the longest, out in the heat all day. They don’t mind that the last to the fields get paid, they just believe the ones who worked the longest should get paid more.

Not in God’s economy, not according to this parable. The last shall be first; this is what Jesus is saying. And that just—well, that just blows our minds!

We can be left disquieted by the radical and lavish way God loves ALL of the world, including the people in it that seem unlovable. We struggle in our ‘that’s not fair space’ with this story. Although we are taught to share with others when we are little children, this parable and the teachings of Jesus make us question what it means to share. How much? With whom? When is it enough? What is fair?

Those are really important questions, and we will keep talking about what it means to complete God’s dream this year, to live the ethics of the beloved community. This text is clear, though; it is meant to wash our eyes, to change the way we see. Everyone should have enough. Everyone.

Enough food, clothing, and shelter. Enough healthcare, and enough opportunities to live safely, learn and grow. This is why Middle Church is committed to feeding God’s people and working for a living wage. Even when we don’t know all of the answers to all of the questions, we are trying to do our part, with washed eyes and open hearts.

Here are two ways to do our part right now.

1.) Let’s share what we have with those devastated by these horrific storms and earthquakes. You can give here to a variety of relief efforts: 

—Hurricane Maria/Puerto Rico relief efforts: click here
Also, consider attending the Center for Puerto Rico Studies (Hunter College) event on 9/26/17 at 6:30 PM to learn about other ways to help with relief efforts. More information is available on their event page

—Central Mexico earthquake relief efforts: click here

—Hurricanes Harvey & Irma relief efforts: click here.

2.) Let’s keep the pressure on our elected officials, so they fix the Affordable Care Act as needed, but they DO NOT PASS the Graham-Cassidy bill. It puts the most vulnerable Americans at risk, guts Medicaid, and removes protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Make a call right now; light up the phone lines, and speak up for the vulnerable.

If you missed my sermon, listen to it here, and tweet what you think about it @RevJacquiLewis. I pray for more washed eyes among us, Middle family. More revolutionary lovers doing more to make God’s reign here on earth. I am SO glad we get to do this work, together.

Love and Light, 

Jacqui Lewis