September 12, 2011
bad for business
For good or for ill, my brain thinks in management terms. Cost/benefit analysis, while not always the perfect model in parish administration, is my go to decision making tool. Thus, it always grieves me to read the parable of Jesus assigned for Sunday. I guess it is well and good that the Kingdom of Heaven can be related as a generous land owner, but it is just bad business. Imagine the scene the next day. The landowner hits the Home Depot, ready to pick up another mess of day laborers, and, low and behold, nobody is there. He returns at nine; nobody. Noon; nobody. Three; maybe a few brave souls. By five o'clock, with the day nearly spent and nothing accomplished, he returns to find 100 guys ready to work for a full days wage. What about the poor slobs who own other pieces of land? Are they supposed to suffer at the hand of this landowners generosity (i.e. foolishness)? When Jesus told parables, people got mad. That rarely happens when we read the parables of Jesus these days, mostly because our cultural vocabulary is so different. But this parable makes me angry. As one who holds a BS degree in business administration, this makes me angry. And, if I'm honest, as a disciple who like to think of himself as one who was in the field no later than 9am, this makes me angry. Am I the only one?