getting out the WORD - the 16th sunday after pentecost PDF Print E-mail

the PRAYER...
Almighty and eternal God, you show perpetual lovingkindness to us your servants. Because we cannot rely on our own abilities, grant us your merciful judgment, and train us to embody the generosity of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

the READING...
[Jesus said to the disciples:] "So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

Matthew 20:1-16

A little over eight years ago, Disney released the animated comedy Up; a story of an old man and a young boy who team up for an adventure in the jungles of South America. Along the way, they meet Dug the talking - but easily distracted - dog who has a habit, in the middle of a sentence, of quickly looking off into the distance and saying, "Squirrel!"

Well, the gospel, this week, is Matthew's squirrel-moment! For fifteen verses, Jesus has been telling his disciples a parable about the laborers in the vineyard. Five groups of workers hired throughout the day who, in the end, are paid the same amount! It's all about generosity! But for some reason, Matthew ends by saying, "So the last will be first, and the first last!"

The way the workers are paid, though, is only a way of building up the anticipation of those hired early in the morning. As group after group receive a full day's wage, they become more certain they'll be paid more. When they don't, they grumble. Bigheartedness and openhandedness, not chronology! But Matthew tosses this shiny object into the air and we follow it every time! Sidetracked! Distracted! But then, I guess it's always a whole lot easier to worry about your place in line, than admit we, too, are envious of god's generosity.

Bob Barndt, pastor

Copyright © 2017 Midland Lutheran Church , 2705 West Michigan, Midland, TX 79701 (432) 694-1373
RocketTheme Joomla Templates