A 2006 Barna Group poll found that Americans have a good opinion of themselves. Nearly every American polled (97%) said they were good citizens, and 90% said they were generous. The last decade has surely not eroded our high estimate of ourselves. We feel about ourselves like the laborers who had worked all day and like them we probably feel we deserve more than others. The parable does what it can to erode such insidious self-esteem. About the day-long laborers (and we hard-working, "decent" Americans) Martin Luther writes:
“The Real Man Of La Mancha” by Frank Ramirez
“Non Sequitur” by C. David McKirachan
The Real Man Of La Mancha
by Frank Ramirez 2 Corinthians 6:1-13
…but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger… (2 Corinthians 6:4-5)
Our three readings for this week hang together very well. Paul tells us that we need to work together in love, putting behind us the world’s way of doing things in favor of changing the world into the Eden God intended it to be. The Gospel lesson teaches us that miracles are possible, as it describes Jesus sleeping through a violent thunderstorm that rocks the boat, until his disciples wake him to their danger. He immediately rebukes the storm, and wind and wave become completely still.
There was a story in our local paper recently about a local television newsreader who had visited a chiropractor. The chiropractor went off to America to learn some new techniques and on his return rang the newsreader to ask whether she would like to try out his new equipment.