Friday, September 18 2020
On the surface, today’s Gospel is about fairness. The landowner hires workers early in the morning and agrees to pay them a full day’s wage. He goes back in the early morning and hires more workers. At midday and in the afternoon he hires more workers. Even at the eleventh hour, he hires more workers. The landowner asks the steward to pay all the workers the same wage beginning with the ones that only worked for an hour. When the steward finally began to pay the ones who had worked all day, they were fuming mad. The fact is that we can be easily annoyed with trivial matters that we deem as unfair. Jesus gives us a prime example. The laborers in today’s Gospel got paid one day’s work, regardless of how long they worked. Those workers who worked the longest earned a fair wage, but they were upset by what the others received.
God turns our world upside down. Jesus is creating a community where the last are first and the first are last. The world isn’t fair and maybe God helps to even things out a little. Have you ever felt God’s generosity when it is unearned and undeserved? When the generosity of God exceeds our expectations, we are surprised in a way that fills our heart with the peace that passes all understanding.
When you understand life to be an incredible gift, God’s grace and mercy flows over us like a river. Jesus is teaching parables that turn our world upside down. Suddenly, everyone is eligible for God’s love! It is no longer just the outwardly religious folks that find God’s favor.. The workers that were hired late in the day might have needed money to buy food for their families. When they received their pay at the end of the day, they must have been elated. “Maybe this is the break I have been waiting for,” says the unemployed person trying to get back in the work force. “Finally,” says the child that is back at school with their friends. Someone shows up with cases of water after a wildfire because someone half way around the world heard their cry while praying to God. Someone remembers those essential workers that have served our needs right through this pandemic. We remember those who gave their lives on 9/11 and pray for those who put their lives on the line for our safety.
Have you ever felt blessed by God? When we receive our fair wage it feels right, but when we receive more than we deserve, it is a blessing from God. I give to this church because God has blessed me in so many ways. I receive blessing upon blessing. They just keep coming. I am blessed by my beautiful children, my lovely wife, my mom, my brothers, my friends, by our Morning Prayer group, for my home in this wonderful town, and by the ministry of St. John’s. The list goes on and on for me. I love my ministry and my call to St. John’s. Today is my sixth anniversary of serving at St. John’s. The year 2020 has been tough for all of us, but I believe that God will get us through it. We will begin Eucharist in October and slowly and safely, we will get back to church. I pray that God will bless me with many more years of service at St. John’s. Please join me in giving praise and thanksgiving to God every Sunday. We have an outdoor service at 8AM. We have an indoor service at 11AM. There is an 8 AM zoom Morning Prayer and a 9:15 zoom Morning Prayer with incredible music. If you have not joined the M-F Morning Prayer community at 9 AM, I highly recommend this service of praise and prayer. If you have been away for the summer we invite you back. If you are new, we invite you to be a part of our community. We are blessed at St. John’s and God calls us all to be a blessing to each other.
In Christ’s love,