The church is described by various analogies. You've probably heard many of them. The body of Christ. The temple of God. The sheep of the Shepherd. A spiritual house. A royal priesthood. A holy nation. Each analogy highlights different aspects of our identity in Christ. But one analogy that is often overlooked is a vineyard, or better-stated, God's vineyard.
In Mark 12:1-12, Jesus tells a parable where he likens the Father to a man who took great pains to plant a beautiful vineyard and the vineyard itself to his redeemed people, who today would be the church. In the parable, greedy tenants of the vineyard displayed great evil by beating and killing the vineyard owner's servants and son when he sent them to collect his fruit at harvest time. Of course, Jesus was primarily highlighting how the religious leaders of his day were foolishly and wickedly rejecting him, the eternal Son of God in the person of Christ. But the parable also invites us to see ourselves in his story.
And it's easy to find ourselves in the story. In one sense, we're the vineyard itself, prized and loved by a gracious God who took great pains—the death of his own Son—to plant us. But in another sense, we're also the tenants that are taking care of his vineyard (Hopefully in loving and faithful ways).
This week, be encouraged to see yourself as a caretaker of God's spiritual vineyard. Seek ways to water, nurture, and care for the vineyard God has entrusted to you, both in your church and in your household. You might start by discipling your kids with God's Word, or by starting a Bible study with your spouse, or by volunteering in your church's youth or children's ministries, or by visiting the elderly in your community of faith, or by serving as a warm greeter as visitors and members arrive for weekly corporate worship. There are countless ways to live as a good caretaker; just let the Holy Spirit guide you as you ask God how you could provide some loving care.
Scripture for Meditation
"... Serve one another humbly in love." (Galatians 5:13)
God, you have planted a beautiful vineyard through the work of Christ. Show me how I could provide some care to the vineyard you love.