The common custom among landowners in ancient Palestine involved paying their laborers and slaves with meal. If the owner spent time away from the farm, he chose a steward, who would ration out the workers’ payment and distribute the meal.
As we know, farm life moves in an annual cycle—an annual cycle which has repeated itself nearly 2,013 times now since the birth of the Son of God.
The Great Landowner, Who owns every field, every furrow: He appears to have taken a lengthy trip.
After all these many cycles—some 735,000 daily distributions of meal to the workers—after all this apparent monotony, the stewards of this mysteriously absent Master might wonder if He intends to return.
Doubts might begin to seep in, which would then give rise to wicked thoughts, such as: Well, if He will never come back, why do I bother to keep on doing my duty with painstaking precision? Why not just keep what I can get away with keeping for myself, and live it up a little? Who will punish me if I do?
But other stewards watch the sun rise in the east every morning, and think to themselves:
The same Great Master Who owns this vineyard, Who owns this field, Who owns this house, Who owns it all, Who made it all in the first place—this same Great Master makes the sun come up; He keeps air in my lungs; He gives the fields increase and makes the rivers flow to the sea. Wouldn’t I be a fool to doubt that His justice will inevitably be done? Certainly it will, more thoroughly than I can even imagine. Let me do my duty today, because I fear this Great Master’s wrath if He catches me slacking off.
2,012 years, and counting, seems like a long time. But all these many years are made up of single days. Not one of us stewards can deny that God gives us the strength to do my duty today. I can do under His sky what I am supposed to do right now, not doubting for a second that He is good, that His plan is just, and that—for Him—a thousand years is as a single day.
Our long wait for His return will end when it is supposed to end, and then He Himself will distribute goods to us, and they will be more wonderful than we can imagine.
…PS. If they were going to mythologize our beloved Franklin County, Virginia, with a moonshine movie, I wish they could have done it with a better one.
But, don’t worry: We will definitely come back to Jessica Chastain. She appeared in Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus, which deserves a thorough study here, once I get a free moment or two…