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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 31, 2008

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 31, 2008 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 31, 2008

      **********

      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
      Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
      devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
      Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      Listen

      Jesus taught, "Listen to another parable. There
      was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence
      around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a
      watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and
      went to another country. When the harvest time
      had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to
      collect his produce. But the tenants seized his
      slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned
      another. Again he sent other slaves, more than
      the first; and they treated them in the same way.
      Finally he sent his son to them, saying, 'They
      will respect my son.' But when the tenants saw
      the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the
      heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.'
      So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard,
      and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard
      comes, what will he do to those tenants?"
      Matthew 21:33-40

      Robert Farrar Capon shares this insight about how
      Jesus used parables in his book "The Parables of
      the Kingdom" (page 1). Parables are hard to
      understand yet one of the oldest teaching
      techniques in the world. They make a point by
      comparing one thing to another. Jesus often
      spoke in parables without interpreting them for
      the crowds. Either the disciples or other
      listeners would then ask questions for
      clarification. Jesus would often teach the
      meanings of the parables to his disciples
      privately. Sometimes the parables are confusing
      and seem full of paradox and contradictions.
      Sometimes we assume their meaning and really do
      not understand them at all. So listen with fresh
      ears and an open heart.

      Listen to the answers of his listeners. The owner
      of the vineyard will severely punish the violent
      tenants and bring them to an end. The vineyard
      owner will then rent his vineyard to new tenants
      who will give the owner his share of the crop at
      harvest time.

      What does this really mean? Jesus clarifies this
      disturbing parable about the realm of God.
      "Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will
      be taken away from you and given to a people who
      will produce its fruit" (Matthew 21:43). When
      the chief priests and the Pharisees heard this
      comment, they knew he was talking about them.
      We are told that they looked for a way to arrest
      him but were afraid of the popular public support
      of Jesus the prophet.

      God, help us listen closely to this parable and
      find our place in it. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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