Today's Reading: Mark 12:1-12
After the cross, God will never be safe from us. God has freely, willingly determined to be in solidarity with us, for us—perhaps the most risky decision God ever made. God comes to us in a form that allows us to reject him, to mock and ignore him. The merciful God places himself at our mercy. Surely God’s greatest pain and suffering is not that of the cross but of our continual, daily, moment-by- moment betrayal. Love and death seem to go together, at least for the God who would dare bend toward us.
What will the Father do now that we have stooped to killing the only Son in a vain attempt to get God off our backs? As was so typical of his narrative style, Jesus does not finish this parable of the wicked tenants. Perhaps he could not finish the story because it was a story about the cross, a story that could only be ended by the Father, in one great, decisive setting things right as they could only be set right, by the Father. Now aht we’ve done our worst, we tenants of the vineyard shall have to commend our fate into the hands of the Father. Jesus is now silent, without having ended the lesson. Here is a story so cosmic, so severe, so awful and tragic that only God knows how to end it. How long will we have to wait for the Father to end the story, in the Father’s own way?
At least three days.
But for now, on this day, we’ve heard Jesus’ last word. Pray to God that you might have the grace, and the faith too, to make it your last word, your final prayer, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”
Bishop William Willimon