Today’s Gospel: Matthew 21: 28-32
The Gospel reading for today used to confuse me, until it happened to me. It’s the story of the two sons. One says he won’t do what his father asks, but then reconsiders and does it; the other says he’ll do it, but then doesn’t.
I couldn’t quite get my head around this parable. Which really was worse? Then one day my children lived it. Remembered very approximately: The one smiled and nodded and acted as if he planned to do the work, but secretly snuck off and got on his computer to play video games. The other threw a little temper-tantrum at the prospect of chores, but then came to her senses and was found some time later doing the work I’d requested.
I was so angry with my sneaky game player, openly disobeying me after we’d made it very clear what I’d expected. And he hadn’t even given me a reason why perhaps he couldn’t do the work! I was so happy with my little convert, who had overcome her initial distaste and decided to do what was right.
I have a saying when talking about chastity: Chastity isn’t about your past, it’s about your future. It’s true about every aspect of the Christian life. The past is done. Last year, last month, last night: all gone. Over. There’s no getting it back, and there’s no living in it either. The future’s another story. Right now, at this very moment, I have the power to become the child who finally decides to do what is right.
Is there an area of my life where I’m clinging to a past identity? Allowing what I’ve done to define me? To condemn me? What can I do, right now, to become a person who is no longer defined by that past?
Dear Jesus, I haven’t always been the good kid. But I’d like to be. Help me, please. Thank you. Amen.
Copyright 2014 Jennifer Fitz