I have a spiritual reading “to do list” and I’ve held onto some notes for 3 years now – and this packet always is BARELY kept from being completely buried. I wrote part 1 of my notes of going to Michael Card’s conference in 2019, never finished part 2. I will restart. But first, I have a story, I do remember the plain ole cold I had been getting over, the cough drop HESED *grace mercy* when Michael Card HIMSELF gave me a cough drop when I had a huge coughing fit and was stuck, no water, totally landlocked in my seat location by so many round tables and chairs and people staring… I was so embarrassed that I intensely cried outside the church for like half an hour… INTENSE embarrassment. I’m sure Michael and those people don’t remember, I do, the crawl under a rock feeling… Most importantly, I remember the forgiveness in the situation. I remember walking back in… I came back, back from outside and back, out of the field of fear.
Hesed is God’s forgiveness. In hindsight my coughing fit was just 6 months before covid hit, (and imagine the EXTRA stares I would’ve had then?!!!) Well, SO, my long-winded start here brings me to the thought and truth that THANK GOD, that GOD is in charge of Salvation by His actions and not ours. By His Love. Hesed. Loving kindness forgiveness. He’s got the power to forgive (and He does)!!!
This note paper (photo attached) is from that day, and it has the EXACT scripture that was read in my church yesterday. WOW! It’s a parable told by Jesus of a king paying day-laborers a wage whether they were short or long in the field, and his generosity allowed him to pay them all the same, regardless of time in the field. It’s a parable to demonstrate God’s forgiveness, His Hesed, IT’S GOD’S GENEROSITY, IT’S GOD’S MERCY HESED GRACE LOVING KINDNESS… God brings us into Heaven based on His ability. Jesus came to call the sinners…
The Vinyard in this parable can be a place to work, but what about the flip side? (Actually many flipside lessons from this but let me talk about just one angle): What of the “fields of life” that people wander in and around every day? I am going to take a cup of Holy Spirit contemplation within this story, and state that just like me coming back in from my “field of fear” after the coughing incident, we all need to come back out FROM the field to accept that offer, back to the King, back to the One who pays our way into forgiveness… Come back to Jesus, especially when we are feeling lost. Don’t stay out in embarrassment for sins or stupid stuff, or even perceived fear. Especially don’t stay away from fear of others.
Remember Jesus is looking too, looking for you. He’s leaving the 99 behind (whom He knows won’t stray at that moment) to come get you, His lost sheep. Come back from being out in the field of lostness.
(And we also need to extend forgiveness to others so we are also not stuck out in the field)…
God has HESED, loving kindness, grace and mercy to give you peace. Come get your Gift of Him, from Him, no matter how long you were gone. 30 seconds or 30 years, time is meaningless in the face of the Creator of all.
Let’s return to one of the the actual (non-flip sidebars) of the parable of the workers in the vinyard. God is saying “you all come” – and my notes from the conference state that Matthew was writing this story down FOR those former Jews who lost their Jewish identity by following Jesus. Matthew explains this love to those new believers, explaining “you are the salt of the earth, light of the world”… “[YOU ARE PART OF THE KINGDOM. Accept it, you do have an identity.]” We do too.
Remember God’s the One,
giving even His Son,
whose telling you your battle is won. Don’t stay out in the field when the day is done.
There’s many more sidebar learnings, from this parable… just like tilling the soil, we are only scratching the surface of Word, and it’s wealth of understanding… put your roots in deep… here’s the link: