By Ken Woodley
“He said to them, ‘You also go out into the vineyard.”
If Jesus tells us to go out into the vineyard—and he is telling us to do exactly that—we go.
We don’t need the president’s permission. We don’t require congressional approval. There is no ring that we must kiss.
We just go out into the vineyard.
And, my Lord, the vineyard needs us now.
The grapes of compassion have withered on the vine and grapes of wrath have usurped their place.
There are weeds of intolerance everywhere and killing frosts of injustice rime the lives of African Americans.
Hate stalks the vineyard where love once left footprints for us to follow.
Yes, by God, we shall go out into the vineyard and cut down the thorns of darkness and sow seeds of light.
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus empowers his disciples to get up, go out and try to change the world one person at a time.
And he meant at that very moment. No waiting. No debating. No choosing teams.
Just get up and go.
As we must do so now.
Feed his sheep by opening and emptying the cupboard of our heart. Share the good news by being the good news in the lives of others.
Be the justice they seek.
And the freedom.
And the love.
Do this in remembrance of him because healing the world as he taught us to is a holy communion for all of us to share.
The wolves are howling now.
They hunger for our fear.
They want us to lock ourselves away inside our own lives and throw away the key.
If we do that the vineyard is doomed.
If we do that the vintage of 2020 will taste like a vinegar-filled sponge on the point of a spear atop Golgotha.
We must stop crucifying each other.
Let us rise together, instead.
By Ken Woodley