Friday, February 15, 2013


              to talk of many things… of cabbages and kings”
  We read in Luke 10, of the master instructing his inner circle, his staff, as it were, in how they should go about to teach-- and to heal. He insists that they ought not to go about ,from pillar to post, like mendicants, begging support for what they do, but attach themselves to a community, even to a household, and stay there, content with what they may receive. Then can they teach.  “…for the labourer is worthy of his hire.”
   There it is, verse 7, the center of the argument: that the workman is worthy, worthy in his employment. I think it works on three levels of meaning. The ambiguity is profound. First, I take it that the worker is worthy to be paid his bill for his work, of what he charges for his labor.
    The second sense, I believe, is a challenge to the worker to do work that is worthy in quality.
    And third, that the laborer must we worthy, as a person, to those who hire him.
  I believe these three meanings are lodged in those eight words, with emphasis on the first of them, the “for” meaning “because”. Because this work, this labor, is done in the world, the real world, where work is of enduring consequence.