He began to tell the people this parable: ‘A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time.’ (Luke 20.9)
Those who first heard this story about a vineyard would at once have known that Jesus was talking about God and about them. They were the tenants trusted to look after and to enjoy the fruits of the earth. They would have recalled some of the many accusations of prophets who condemned the behaviour of those who used their freedom of choice to do their own thing at the expense of others – just the sort of grim stories that make our news, the sort of tragic consequences of selfishness. The challenge issued by Jesus to think afresh about our choices and responsibilities to one another and to the planet is as urgent as ever.