One’s first reading of today’s parable might seem to be unfair. It appears unfair if one believes their ticket to heaven depends on the number of righteous credits they have earned. As I looked at this parable more closely I discovered Jesus is focusing on the end result of the spiritual pilgrimage. Regardless if you started becoming your full self early, middle or late in life, the important thing is you started doing the work!
•It is not fair!
•Do death bed confessions of Jesus get the same reward as life long followers?
•The Kingdom of Heaven is not a place up in the cosmos. It is located in every human soul.
•If we believe in a merit based heaven then we are tempted to create alternate heaven scenarios in order to protect our fragile egos.
•Let’s look at the parable in a more substantive way.
•Those hired in the early morning to work in the vineyard.
•Those hired midday
•Those hired late in the afternoon
•Pastor Barton and Bruce Springsteen/Western Star Movie
•The reward is becoming the person you were created to be. It is not a contest to see who can out righteous each other.
•Are you living, loving and serving to your fullest potential?
•The ultimate goal is to evolve and grow into the person you were meant to be. Regardless of how long it takes.
Call to Celebration
God of Generosity, we enter into this time of worship with grateful hearts.
We open ourselves to the surprises that await us.
We celebrate the treasures among us.
Each one of us are your beloved.
You see beyond the exterior.
You know our capacity.
Envy will blindside us to the truth of what is present.
God, empower us to see ourselves and one another as equal partners in God’s kingdom. Amen
God, you are the giver of all gifts. Each of us have been blessed to share who we are and our resources in this community of faith. God, when we are depleted and filled with angst about what overwhelms us, we become blind to the grace and gifts that surround us. Remind us that in times of distress, your gifts are inexhaustible. Amen
Bringing in the Light
Celebrations and Concerns
Scripture & Sermon
Extinguishing the Light
Matthew 20: 1-16
A Prayer for Peace and Restoration
God, at time we struggle with reciprocity, especially when we are consumed by what is fair. In those moments, help us to shift our consciousness from equity to gratitude. Amen
Rev. LaTrell Harrison