Sunday, March 21, 2010
The Parable of the Wicked Tenants
This is a tough parable to preach - at least in my opinion. For the traditional preachment that I've heard and read is short on Law and Gospel and long on history. "The wicked tenants are the scribes and chief priest, the servants are the prophets, blah, blah, blah." I hate preaching like that - puts people right to sleep or communicates: this isn't about you or for you. I'm not denying its truth, just that its often preached poorly. Again, in my humble opinion.
So what to do? Preach on one of the other texts? That feels like a cop out.
So after much angst and head banging, I thought a bit deeper: what is it that the prophets proclaimed? Repentance, of course. But repentance for what? For not producing the fruits of faith (toward God) and love (toward the neighbor). For the scribes and chief priests, that would be caring for the people of Israel - that was their vocation. But what about my people? What are their vocations? And who are the servants that God sends to them to get them to produce the fruits of faith and love? And when we do not help and serve those around us in their need, are we not beating and even murdering them with our inaction or anger or harsh words?
So that is the angle I took today - which produced some pretty tough Law! (But it is a parable of judgment, after all.) And then I was able to apply the Gospel of Christ the cornerstone, and how He breaks us (in repentance) in order to heal us (in forgiveness). I think it worked. I hope so. Visit our church blog to read it for yourself, or go to our church web site to take a listen.