For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
Our Lord, beneath the veil of this parable, tells us what God is like. The heart of God our Father yearns over the perishing souls of men. For some reason, at present withheld, He must have the co-operation of men to reach the hearts of men, and therefore at every stage of life He approaches us, saying, “Go work! During what remains of life’s brief day, go work in My vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. I need you to help in the salvation of the myriads of souls, whose redemption I am seeking with blood and tears.”
He comes to you, dear children, in the dawn of your life. The dew is still in the grass, the birds are only just awaking from their dreams, life is yet the spring, and God’s voice comes to you, saying: “I want you to help Me in my great Vineyard. The ground needs weeding, the vines require watering and pruning, there is much to do and few to do it, and I have a tiny plot for you to cultivate. Make haste, and come.”
He comes to you, young men and women. Three hours have passed, and is yet you are standing idle, and have not chosen your life-work. Are you going to be a Missionary, or Minister, a Doctor, or School-teacher; does art, Music, or Commerce appeal to you? Whatever sphere you choose, yet it be subordinated to the one great purpose of helping God to save the world.
He comes to you who are in the meridian or late afternoon of life. Perhaps you have been fortunate enough to make a competence, and need not toil as formerly. To you the Master comes, saying, “Go, work in My vineyard. Administer your money, time, influence for Me.” Even though it be but an hour before sunset, the same urgent appeal rings out; though you have been unemployed all the days, He seeks your help. Oh, that the urgency of God’s compassions may touch and move us! Will you listen to the call of the great Husbandman, and now answer in your heart, “Here am I, send me”?
O God, we have heard Thy call! Wilt Thou accept our hands to labour for Thee, and our lips to speak for Thee. Send us into Thy Vineyard, and use us in Thy holy service, amen.