Sermon Seeds: Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020
It’s not about me.
As Moses and Aaron led the Israelites through the wilderness, the people cried out for food. They complained about the new troubles they faced from what they had become accustomed to in Egypt. Moses and Aaron understood that instead of the Israel nation complaining against them, the people were actually angry at God. Moses and Aaron had to tell themselves, “It’s not about me.”
Jesus tells the story of the workers in the vineyard. Those who arrived in the field at 5:00pm were paid the same amount as those who arrived at 8:00am. And, as a result, the morning crew were angry. Jesus responded to the workers that they had agreed to the payment and made a “contract” prior to completing the work: “Take what belongs to you…I [am] allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me…Are you envious because I am generous…” Essentially, the workers failed to understand, “It’s not about me.”
Paul writes to the Philippians that what he suffers as he is in jail is for them. He states that he would very much like to be at home with Christ, “but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you.” Paul clearly states: “It’s not about me.”
We lost a giant for women’s equality this weekend with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She struggled against the system that would oppress and limit members of the human family simply because of gender. Those participating in and supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement understand the Truth of our human existence: “It’s not about me.” What one person receives does not take away what another has already accepted.
We, as Christians and as members of the human family, are charged to ensure equality, fairness, mercy, and sacrifice for ALL persons. And, just like the 8:00am workers, if we find ourselves agitated or defensive of others receiving the same as we have received, we must ask ourselves who we are angry with? Is it the law? Is it the representative (such as Moses and Aaron)? Or is your argument actually with God?
Only when we begin to release our grip on what we believe we deserve will we be able to understand that, in God’s economy, ALL are accepted, ALL are welcomed, ALL are loved. And when the “other” is accepted and welcomed and loved, our portion is not diminished at all. In fact, our portion is expanded because our community is expanded!