I recently saw a cartoon of God portrayed as a scientist in a laboratory about to pour the contents of a vial called “free will” into a beaker called “humanity.” The caption on the cartoon wondered if God was having any reservations or second thoughts.
Giving humanity free will has both a good side and a bad side. From the bad side of what many call original sin, to the good side of all the times each day we are able to choose love over hate, we certainly are a complex and often confusing creation.
The prophet Isaiah is sharing another picture of God’s sorrow over some of our choices. Many Old Testament prophets use the vineyard as a metaphor for God’s chosen people, Israel. Through God’s grace, the apostle Paul tells us that salvation is extended to Gentiles, too, and we become included in the larger Judeo-Christian vineyard of those whom God loves. But we are also included in the vineyard of those who grieve God by allowing systemic evil and poor choices to continue.
God has given us more than enough of every good gift and expects from us justice, righteousness and love.
Loving God, thank you for continuing to love us through our stubborn selfishness. Love us and lead us to your justice and peace. Amen. — ML