What is fairness under Christ?

                I’ve been thinking about a lot of the media events where sports stars have been sitting or kneeling to protest racial discrimination in our country. People have thought poorly of these people and have shared their thoughts. People of color have come forward in defense of the protesting athletes saying, you don’t get to say anything because you didn’t grow up a person of color. A thought hit me tonight. Jesus tells a parable that strikes a chord with me on this topic.
In Matthew 20, Jesus tells the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16). In this tale, an owner of a vineyard who goes out throughout a day to hire workers at a set wage. Now when the day came to an end, the owner called in the workers that he had hired in the order of the last workers he had hired to the first. When the first hires came, they expected more, but they were paid the same as those who were hired later in the day. Instead they were all paid a denarius (a day’s wages). When the first hires grumbled and complained, the owner challenged them because they agreed to the payment offered them by the owner. Then we get the famous quote in verse 16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
So where does this parable resonate with me and this current situation? Well, I was thinking of the equal payment offered by the owner of the vineyard. If the vineyard is the United States and the payment is the freedom offered to us by the Constitution, all Americans are entitled to these freedoms, so long as we are not encroaching on another’s ability to do so. The first amendment guarantees us all a freedom of expression. If that expression is sitting down during the national anthem at a game, then that is your right. The double edged sword of that is that people are also allowed to express their displeasure of what you are doing because they believe you are disrespecting the flag and what it stands for, so long as they are not forcing you to stand or are violent with you. Nowhere are we allowed a freedom to not be offended, we are allowed to disagree with one another, and that will hurt some people’s feelings.
So where does fairness come under Christ? I think the answer is fairly clear. Christ died to absolve us all of our sins, that is our denarius, forgiveness and grace through his sacrifice. Whether you come to know him in your youth (such as the people hired first in the day) or when you are older (such as those hired toward the end of the day) we are all guaranteed forgiveness and grace if we come and confess Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Now to my readers that are people of color, yes it has been white Americans that have stepped on you, but I ask that you don’t stereotype us all, as I promise to not stereotype anyone. It is very easy to do so and we all have to work to not do that. Christ views us all as individuals, and as Christians we are called to follow his example, even in this. I would also ask that you don’t hide behind your race as an excuse. We all face hardships in our lives, and hiding behind them won’t advance our dialogue about race in our great nation. Let’s find somewhere in the middle so we can meet as fellow Americans. Those of us who are Christians, let’s act as Christ did and offer fellowship with everyone as human beings. Christ died for all, so let’s try to bring all to Christ. God bless you and have a good rest of your night.

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