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Kingdom talk

We are used to reading the parables of Jesus as wise stories about human life in general and the religious in particular.   But it is not until we put ourselves into these stories that we realise how challenging and disturbing they can be.   That is,  when we see them as stories about ourselves,  here and now;  stories in which we are the characters.

This talk-song is an attempt to read the parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard  (Matthew 20:1-17)  in just such a personal way.


1. In the vineyard of the Kingdom there is more than much to do;
every vine is heavy-laden,  and the labourers are few.
In the workplace of the Kingdom do I have an actor's role?
      Or shall I play God?
It seems all so odd in the kingdom of the soul.
2. Shall I play the perfect steward,  doing what I'm told to do,
though I think the master's crazy and I scorn his ragged crew?
In the vineyard of the Kingdom shall I take the banker's voice?
      Or shall I play God?
I would find that odd,  for he has no sense of choice.
3. Or am I the bitter loafer,  sure that no one wants me there
for another day of waiting for an evening of despair?
In the courtyard of the Kingdom shall I stand outside the gate?
      Or shall I play God?
But I'd find that odd,  for He leaves things much too late.
4. Shall I play the honest toiler,  full of righteousness and rage
that the bludger and the shirker get their name upon the page?
In the vineyard of the Kingdom shall I make that part my share?
      Or shall I play God?
Well,  I'd find that odd,  for He doesn't know what's fair.
5. Could I be the anxious master,  hiring early,  hiring late,
that the vintage may be gathered,  that the profit may be great?
Is the vineyard of the Kingdom mine to order and control?
      And must I play God?
Yes,  I know that's odd,  but I think I've got the role.


   Words and music © Colin Gibson 1999

Permission is given to reproduce this material,  with acknowledgement,
for non-commercial use in a congregational or similar setting.



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