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Sermon and Worship Resources
16th Sunday after Pentecost

Sermon and Worship Resources

Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?' So the last will be first, and the first will be last.  Mt. 20:15-16

Texts & Discussion:
Exodus 16:2-15
Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45
Jonah 3:10-4:11
Psalm 145:1-8
Philippians 1:21-30
Matthew 20:1-16


 

This Week's Themes:

God's Providence amid Suffering
Christ--Foundation of Our Faith
Amazing Grace

 

For Grace to Labor

Lord of the harvest, send us into your vineyard as faithful workers;
free us from all idleness and envy;
let your grace be sufficient for all who are weak.
The things, good Lord, that we pray for,
give us the grace to labor for;
The things that human labor cannot achieve
we ask you to provide by your grace alone,
until your kingdom is fully established on earth
as it is in heaven..
Amen.

 

Sermons:

Children's Messages:

 


Sermon Excerpt:

Amazing Grace- or is it?
Matthew 20:1-16
Rev. Frank Schaefer

Today is all about God's grace and we think as Christians that it is pretty amazing not least because of the song Amazing Grace right? But is it really that amazing? That's our question today.

Let me start off by saying when I worked in Lebanon, PA at a mental hospital I ran into a woman who who told me during a service I was conducting there where I announced that we're gonna do Amazing Grace, because everybody knows that song. She said: you know we sing that here a lot, Amazing Grace, and after a while it's not that amazing anymore.”

So that's what I want to start with today, the question whether God's grace is not that amazing to begin with. Jesus started his parable off by saying the kingdom of heaven is like....

What would you fill in that into that blank? What would you say the kingdom of heaven is like? A beautiful sunset? A strong castle? A sandy beach?

But, to our surprise, Jesus likens the kingdom of God to a land owner a land owner’s operation. This land owner goes out early in the morning-mind you this land owner does his own managerial work- he goes out at six o'clock in the morning and goes to the labor market and hires ten day laborers....

...

...Sometimes it helps us understand a parable better, if we take different perspectives.
Let’s indulge in that, shall we?

Let’s take the perspective of the early workers. So, obviously, these people worked hard all day they, labored hard. They feel like they deserve better; they feel unappreciated.

They might have thought: “nobody saw how much work I did and how hard I worked. It just didn’t make a difference to them. If it did, they would give me more instead of giving me the same as everybody else.”

First of all, these workers agreed to be paid a denarius and that’s exactly what they got paid. Just because the land owner was generous and gave the others more, doesn’t mean he did anything wrong or offensive.

I think that kind of attitude is what’s wrong with the world today. It’s a human tragedy that we always look at those who have more and compare ourselves to them and and feel entitled to the same kind of blessing that they have, the same kind of income the same kind of wealth.

And if we are fortunate in life and we get there one day, we look to like those who have even more and compare ourselves to them. Instead we should be looking to those who are less fortunate and have less than us and we should be trying to figure out how we can help them. Now that's what Jesus would do! No, that's what Jesus did do; he led by example.

This attitude of feeling entitled, this attitude of greed is responsible for at least half of the world’s trouble. If we could only adjust our attitude and look to those who have less than us; if we could only have our hearts moved with love and compassion for them and help them out, I feel this world would be a much better place....
 

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