… my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.  As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.

Isa  55:8-9

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You likely recall the story in the Gospel of Matthew which Jesus told about the Kingdom of Heaven being like a landowner who hired laborers in the morning and throughout the day until the the last hour of work and then paid them all a full day’s wages – the one’s hired early and the ones hired late in the day.

In that story some workers who were hired early grumbled that the laborers hired later should not have gotten wages equal to their wages because those hired later did not work as many hours.  And, you recall that the landowner said in reply: “My friend, I am not cheating you.”

What might we say about this?

Well, Isaiah has said it already – God’s ways are not our ways.  For a modern twist on this: social justice is not the end-all-and-be-all.  We are not made juridically – we are made by God and of the Spirit.  Equality is, contrary to our limited thinking, not the divine measuring stick we think it is. It is not in what we trust.

Think about this on a daily basis and just maybe we will see how we opt for a life and culture that is not like God or the Kingdom of Heaven. Maybe we’ll be able to see that social justice is no substitute for faith and a relationship with God. Maybe, too, we’ll be able to see the equality-mavens as they are: the complaining workers – nothing more.

Equality can be, and often is, a notion that keeps us from knowing God.  Its best use is metaphysically, not juridically.

We have a legions of “grumblers” not focused on God but rather what the person next to them gets that they feel is more than what they get. Are goods the measure of anything when it comes to a relationship with God?

Better these workers have a relationship with God than their money and the notion of “equality.”  Better a culture rest on God and not grumbling … or the ways of thinking and being that lead away from God.

Shalom.

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