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Sermon and Worship Resources
18th Sunday after Pentecost
Sermon and Worship Resources

"Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. Mt 21:43

Texts & Discussion:
Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Psalm 19
Isaiah 5:1-7
Psalm 80:7-15
Philippians 3:4b-14
Matthew 21:33-46


This Week's Themes:

World Communion
God's Commandments
God's Saving Grace
Being Good Stewards
Over God's Earth


Call to Worship
by Rev. Frank Schaefer

L: As we gather around the table of the LORD today,
P: we remember the peoples of the world divided into many nations and tongues.
L: We gather in the name of the Almighty, Creator of every man and woman, every plant and animal.
P: We join in the chorus of praise with sisters and brothers around the world to celebrate our LORD.
L: May Christ's church be strengthened and united through the sacrament of Holy Communion.





Children's Message:

Sermon Excerpt:

Tending the Vineyard
based on Matthew 21:33-46, Isaiah 5:1-7, Psalm 80:7-15
by Rev. Karen A. Goltz

            From what I’ve heard, vineyards are a huge investment.  The vines have to be nurtured and cultivated for years after they’re planted before they’re able to produce a viable crop.  Years of painstaking work, caring for these tiny, fragile vines, but done with the hope and expectation that eventually these vines will produce sweet fruit fit to be turned into the finest wines.  The payoff of this fruit makes it all worth it in the end; the expectation of that payoff turns all that painstaking labor into a labor of love.

            The owner of the vineyard in Matthew’s text knows that his vines have produced a worthy harvest, but the tenants taking care of the vineyard have seized the grapes for themselves, doing violence to the slaves and even killing the son of the owner.  They deny him the fruit of his own vineyard.

            The owner of the vineyard in Isaiah’s text is able to harvest his grapes, only there’s no reason for him to do so.  He is rewarded for all his hard work with a crop of wild grapes, sour, unusable.  His hopes and expectations for the sweet fruit of his labors go unfulfilled.

The psalmist paints a mournful picture of a vine brought out of Egypt, lovingly cared for so it flourished, only to be cut down, its fruit devoured by beasts of the land and strangers passing by.

            Vineyards and grapes are all around us in these readings, but none of these readings has anything to do with grapes or vineyards.


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