Read Matthew 21:28-32.
Matthew’s 21st chapter includes a range of stories about who Jesus is and how he’s received by the community: the entrance into Jerusalem, the cleansing of the Temple, the cursing of the fig tree, and parables to illustrate qualities about the kingdom of God. Each scene is an invitation to consider the connection between truth-telling, grace, and how to live boldly into the messy work of faithfulness.
In the Parable of the Two Sons, Jesus speaks about two people whose intentions and actions are very different. For the son who said he would not go work, grace is extended because he changed his mind. We don’t know what led to his decision change, but ultimately he did respond to a call to action. Sometimes we might hesitate to do the right thing — out of fear, doubt, or not having all the information we need to give a confident “Yes.” There is a beauty in being able to chart your own growth, change your answer, and show up in the moments and spaces where you initially did not imagine yourself to be.
Jesus reminds us that changing our minds can be holy and good. In unlearning old “truths,” we can name and claim new ones — just as God names and claims us as beloved children who are still learning, growing, and doing our best to figure it out. It’s in the struggle and questioning that new lessons about who God is and who we’re called to be are illuminated.
Holy God, in this season of Advent, may we respond to your calls for justice, mercy, and forgiveness. Help us reflect on the realities of the world around us, question that which we think we know, and encourage us to speak new truths in love. May we extend grace to all those we meet, and to ourselves, as we do our best to show up authentically each day. Amen.
College Chaplain and UKirk Advisor
UKirk Wooster (The College of Wooster – OH)