The wicked tenants invoke no sympathy from me. It is easy to see their evil intent, their possessiveness of property that is not their own. Then they "Kill the Messenger" (thanks Jack's Mannequin) first abusing the slaves and then killing the son. Certainly these tenants deserve no pity. In fact, I almost wait for the owner with anticipation that they will 'get what's coming to them.' Until I realize I am they. (thanks Clergy Journal for this thread)
Yes, in spite of my self-righteous judgment of their abusive actions, I have to realize my own greedy nature does the same thing. I consider this earth my own, "my" property and I should be able to do what I want on it. At least on "my" three acres. Yet when I decide to be a caretaker of creation, I want everyone to join in. Such contradiction. I can be shortsighted enough to forget that I am always a caretaker, a steward of God's world. I am just passing through, here today and gone tomorrow. My legacy only extends to what I leave for the next generation.
I am a tenant. I hope to be a better caretaker, to watch for God's messengers and welcome them. To turn over the profits of my labor for the owner's use and the leave the vineyard well cared-for in order that the next generation of stewards may work diligently.
Now, to keep that perspective for more than a minute..