I felt many days from the time our daughter was 10 until she turned 20 that the response to anything she didn't want to do, or that was challenging was couched in these words, "It's not fair!" Most of the time I suspect our response to her was equally unhelpful, "Life isn't fair..." That's at the heart of what often makes stories like the one that Jesus tells about the "Shrewd Steward" so difficult to reflect upon. Like me, I suspect that you don't come to church on Sundays to hear Jesus tell you how unfair life is.
I mean fix it already, Lord!
There's a whole line of biblical characters, notably Jacob, who are as crafty, if not as dishonest as the steward portrayed in the gospel of Luke this week. More to the point is that much as we might wish it to be otherwise the kingdom of God has as Pastor Robb McCoy notes, "little to do with fairness. It has little to do with keeping proper ledgers and making sure that everyone gets what is their due. The kingdom of God is about relationships. It is about reconciliation."
Of course that means as the Lord's Prayer notes, forgiving debts and our debtors and of course it so hard to hear and to live. It makes no more sense than celebrating over one lost sheep or one lost coin, or inviting people to a party who will never pay you back.
So we have one more story about how it is that God doesn't respond to us, or offer us, what is sensible, or economical, or even what is fair. God pours out on us, regardless of our deserving, grace upon grace, love that is selfless and complete. It isn't fair. Having been on the receiving end of that grace and that love, undeserved, on more than one occasion, well I will take it over God being fair with me any day.
--Mary Sulerud, Interim Rector