Luke 20: 9-19
It is a clear memory: Pastor Allen Yuen’s tiny Beijing home was filled to overflowing with believers and questioners. His “underground” church overflowed out his front door. Afterward, we talked about the decades he had spent in prison, the years of his children’s lives he missed, the physical suffering and mental deprivation he endured. He spoke of these things gently, graciously, even playfully. Never have I met another Christian with a deeper understanding of what is the stewarded life of a servant to his Master.
Throughout our Lenten Journey, over and over we have reflected on the connected themes of sacrifice and service. We have been reminded that God moves with intention, often via trial and testing, but never without purpose.
From the beginning, in Genesis, we have seen these themes played out against a backdrop of stewardship in many forms. Who is the rightful owner and who tends what the Master owns? Who is the Master and who is the servant? What will humanity do with that which has been entrusted to it? What will His followers do with the tasks and resources that have been entrusted to us?
“Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love, perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over and said, ‘This is the heir, let’s kill him and the inheritance will be ours.’”
April 4In that hot, humid, packed room in Beijing, I had met a man who knew who his Master was and what his Master’s business was all about. The late Allen Yuen understood what it was to be broken to pieces on the Stone, upon which he chose to fall, upon which he chose to submit, upon which he experienced a transformation into greater likeness to the Son sent by the Master. Likewise, he understood the fate of those who choose selfishness over self-sacrifice and self-interest over submission. Though the Master’s sent servants be dishonored, shamed, beaten, or killed, the Master will receive his portion of the harvest.
“‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.’ Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls, will be crushed.”
Today, where might we need to be broken anew upon the Stone?
Today, how will we steward the vineyards entrusted to us?
Today, how are we anticipating the Son of the Master who is coming to receive his portion of the harvest?