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Spirit of the Flame - 70 days following the Olympic Torch
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DAY 10

I had a chance to see some of a TV programme today, Undercover Boss Australia. The premise of the programme is to make a documentary about a boss visiting some of his stores while under disguise. It seems a little far fetched sometimes, but it does seem to work. They do this by saying they are making a programme about people making a career change, or some such scenario. 

In this episode the CEO of a supermarket chain visited a number of his shops, helping out in a number of departments. He seemed pretty witless at times. Not a practical sort at all. 

In one store he helped out in the store's bakery. He started early, I think it was about 4am. It wasn't long before the bakery manager who he was working under said they were so far behind time (as much as an hour and a half!) that he asked the "boss" to leave as they would be able to work faster without him. It was done politely, but clearly the manager was concerned that the job just wasn't getting done.

The boss was a bit startled. The bakery manager featured in the employees gathering, the part at the end of the show when the boss reveals himself to a large number of the employees. He came off well though, getting a pay rise and a car! But the boss was clearly surprised that he had been fired, sacked, rejected. The boss had been dismissed by one of his managers.

Jesus told a story about landowner who let out his farm ((Matthew 21:33-46)). Retold in the style of Undercover Boss Australia, it goes like this:

There was a supermarket boss who built a new store and franchised it out. When it was time to collect his dividend from his investment, he sent three accountants to get his money. The store manager and his team beat one, killed another, and threw tinned tomatoes at the third. The boss sent more accountants, and again they came to the same end. So the boss sent his son, thinking the tenant manager will respect the son, but the manager chased the son out of the store and killed him too.

The question for discussion is this, when the company has its annual meeting with the shareholders, what should they do about the tenant manager and his team? 

In Jesus' parable, the reply given by the religious leaders was to get rid of the tenants and replace them. To which Jesus turned the tables on the religious leaders, suggesting they were like the tenants/bad store manager. Jesus quotes from Psalm 118, a reference to a stone that a builder rejected that has become the most important stone of the building. 

The bakery manager rejected the boss. He did not know it was the boss, but that doesn't matter in this case. The job needed to get done.

In the parable the tenants/store manager, rejected the envoys. 

In our lives, as we busy ourselves with life, is it possible we might end up rejecting God? Sending God packing? Firing God from His job?

It's time to get to know the Boss, and I don't mean Bruce Springsteen! It's time to be in regular contact with the Boss, God, to seek His presence, so when He does turn up, we will recognise Him, and He will recognise us.

-Pr Nathan Stickland

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