If I owned a grape orchard, maybe I’d live in Italy or along the Columbia River. Either way, I’d want things to run smoothly. Who wouldn’t want to have highly qualified workers in your own personal vineyard? But it would be very frustrating to find that the workers were eating the produce rather than nourishing, increasing, and gathering the harvest. I think sometimes, God sees his “orchard” under-producing because the workers, while skillful, have grown content in a sedentary existence.
One of the missionaries that our church supports shared this analogy yesterday in reference to the American church. For too long, significant portions of the American church have been content to enjoy partaking in the fruit of the vineyard rather than nourishing, increasing, and gathering it. Obviously, not everyone is content to live a “Sunday Christian life,” but unfortunately, churches have become warehouses rather than factories.