School Play Syndrome

In English class, we studied school plays before they were performed.  Hearing the words out loud later when we went to performances often showed us things that we didn't get from just reading the words.  But things could also get lost when speeches were read straight through with no pauses or emphasis. 

To rescue Sunday's Old Testament reading from "school play syndrome," let's throw in some pauses and see how we are supposed to react.  Verse 1 and 2 - the vineyard owner made a serious investment of time, money, and effort, and has nothing to show for it. 

     That stinks. 

Verses 3 and 4 - the owner did everything you're supposed to do to get good grapes, but only got wild grapes, and is frustrated.  

     Sympathy.  The owner did everything there was to do. 

Verses 5 and 6 - the owner gets angry.  If it's only going to produce wild grapes, then why bother trying to help it grow something better?  The owner says "I'm done, let it go wild."  

     The owner is right, it's time to be done with this mess.  

And that's where we're supposed to be, before the explanation of the allegory in the last verse.  More on this tomorrow.