Today was a big day at the Current River Sheltered Workshop! We were finally able to have our Christmas Party, which had to be postponed due to us closing early before Christmas because of several being exposed to COVID19. So – today was our “Party Day!” We have one employee who had surgery last year and just came back to work this week after being gone for several months. He was so surprised when his name was called, and he received a Christmas present, just like everyone else.
This reminds me of the “Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard,” recorded in Matthew 20:1-16. Jesus tells of the owner of a vineyard who went out early in the morning to hire laborers. He found some men who were willing to work for a denarius or around a penny per day, and he sent them into his vineyard. Around 9:00 am, he saw others standing idly in the marketplace, and he hired them to go work in his vineyard, and he would pay them whatsoever was right. He did the same thing at 12:00 noon and again, at 3:00 in the afternoon. Finally, at 5:00 pm, he went into the marketplace and found others standing idle. “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” he asked them. They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive” (Matthew 20:7). At 6:00 pm, the workers came to be paid their day’s wages, beginning with those hired last to those hired first. Those hired last received a denarius. Those hired first, also, received a denarius. They murmured against the landowner because those that only worked for one hour received the same pay as they did, and they had worked for twelve hours and born the burden and heat of the day. The landowner reminded them that they had agreed to work for one denarius a day, and that is what he had paid them. They had no right to complain. “So the last shall be first, and the first last; for many be called, but few chosen” (Matthew 20:16).
I was “raised in the church.” I was baptized when I was ten years old, and I have been a faithful Christian for almost 50 years. Yet, I’ve known people who obeyed the gospel when they were in their nineties, and they only had a few short months left on this earth before they were called “home.” Just like our employee who has just been there a couple of days received a Christmas present like everyone else, I take great joy in knowing that the Lord will reward all dedicated Christians equally based on their faith and obedience. For Jesus said, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). We must keep on, keeping on – for like a plane, if we stop – we’ll drop!
May we live all the days of our lives, no matter how long they may be – in such a way that heaven will be our home. Simply blessed, Courtney