Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Undesirables Desired

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Undesirables Desired

Article excerpt

Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16; Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32

Imagine the 1 billion people who live in the world's richest nations turning to the 5 billion people in the developing nations and hearing Paul's invitation to the Philippians: "Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others" (Philippians 2:4). How truly difficult it is for those of us in the "1 Billion Club" to, in humility, regard others as better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). Even once in a while. We just figure some have made it and others are losing the struggle. Some are in, others are out.

When the Israelites are out--out on the exodus journey and complaining again--Moses brings water from a rock. (Repeating the pattern of earlier weeks, this Exodus 17 account is echoed in Psalm 78). The rejected are accepted. The dry ones replenished.

In the Matthew passage, Jesus--again using the local Galilean image of grape pickers in the vineyard--increases the stakes in the perennial game of who is in and who is out. …

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