Tuesday 11-25-2014 (City of Roldan, Santa Fe) Matt 20-22
S. Matt 20:13-15 "He answered one of them, 'Friend, I haven't been unfair! Didn't you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Take it and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be angry because I am kind?' NLT
O. Hey, that’s unfair! I started at 7 AM and worked hard all day and this guy barely got his hands dirty. No fair!
A. Heaven is going to be very entertaining. The moment has come for the awards to be announced. This will make the Emmys, Grammys, Music, Arts, People’s Choice and Nobel Peace awards all look like peanut shells.
It is the big moment in heaven. A bunch of us Assemblies of God missionaries are all sitting together up front feeling very important… almost cocky. At least we are pretty sure to be on the list of nominees. Up here the awards are not going to be judged by some biased Hollywood voters. God’s judgment is perfect. He’s going to be “fair.” You can be sure He is going to call up the nobodies first and end up with us. You know how it works… the best in every contest is announced last as everybody holds their breath.
Sure enough, we had never heard of Sister Schneiderschnitzel. We are amazed at the big deal Jesus makes of this widow lady that never went nowhere and never did nothin’… well, nothin’ but pray for the missionaries. Hey, did you see that diamond studded crown she got?! Boy, if He starts out like this what will our crowns look like? They will have shiny, blazing fan-dangles hanging all around ‘em. I can hardly wait. But I have to wait, because Jesus is not in a hurry and there are millions of us nominees.
Look at that, He just called up that former gangster who was just converted last week. We all applaud as he is handed a jeweled crown of pure gold.
And now he calls up a little old lady that only won a single little boy to the Lord. What was the kid’s name? Who cares? Billy somebody… son of a farmer named Graham. Did you see what she got?! She’ll light up all of heaven with that thing!
Now we pick up the scene 10,495 earth-years later (of course there is no such thing as time in heaven). Jesus calls all of us "front-row-AG- missionaries" up as a group. Wow! Finally this is going to be our moment! I have my magnifying glass in my pocket ready to examine my multifaceted diamonds. One of my buddies brought a perfectly accurate scales to weigh the pure gold in his crown.
Jesus is making the announcement now, Ralph Wesley Hiatt, who preached 167 times in Argentina in one year after passing his 82nd birthday! I wave to the multitude as the rest of the AG missionaries applaud and angels yawn. And finally Jesus comes to the climactic moment… “So now for each of these fine, well trained, expert, dedicated missionaries I give this nice certificate:
Living sacrifice…which, of course, was just your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 (You can be sure they’re going to use the King James Version in heaven.)
Jesus continues, “Sorry, fellas, you’ll have to buy your own frames so that you can put it on your office wall, just above your beloved computer. And now let’s move on to the soul-winning butcher on Hamilton Street in Picnicville, Arizona.”
I’m thinking (but wouldn’t dare admit it) “Hey, that’s unfair! You hand me a “You did okay certificate” and I drove all over Argentina and preached almost every day! I took advantage of every school that would invite me to share Your message! I’ve been preaching the best I could for 60 years! And that guy that Your awarded with a shining starry crown was only converted from a life of crime last week!”
Oh yes! God is going to have a lot of fun with us over on the other side. J
P. Lord, please get me ready for your delightful “surprises” when I discover that “the last shall be first and the first last” in Your wonderful, heavenly kingdom. Maybe I’ll put that certificate in a gold frame and hang it right over my front door for Saint Peter to see when he walks by… or maybe I’ll just put in a big trunk in the attic.
Truth is, Lord Jesus, I need no rewards. You could set me ablaze with joy with only Your smile! Amen.