Year A Proper 20

Ex. 16:2-15    Ps. 105:1-6,37-45           Php. 1:21-30          Mt. 20:1-16

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Mt. 19:30; 20:16)

Some of you may relate to this childhood scenario: The recess bell rings and we all flood out of the classroom onto the playground where a game of kickball will take place. The captains decide who will be on their winning team. The pool from which they are choosing continues to shrink until there is only one left. That was usually me.

I wasn’t athletic until later in life. The tallest kid in 6th grade even among boys, my legs were gangly, I had buckteeth, I was a ballerina and the teacher’s pet. Plus, I was a girl! In the 60’s and 70’s, maybe less so today – brains and braun were compatible like oil and water. But back then, this was not a winning combination to get picked for the team! I wished I’d remembered the Bible verse from today! “The last will be first and the first will be last!”

In the world’s economy, the ‘best’ get chosen. In God’s economy, all are chosen. No one is left standing alone. Matthew’s gospel gives us yet another lesson in score-keeping this week following on the heels of last week’s teaching; admonishing to stop counting how many times we should forgive. To forgive seventy times seven means forgiveness has no limits.


Through the parable of The Laborers in the Vineyard we discover God’s generosity knows no bounds and that justice and grace live in tension with each other. It isn’t who God chooses. It’s what God chooses. God chooses generosity for all.

Read more: This Week's Sermon

Gift

“A gift isn’t fully realized until it is given away” - Lewis Hyde

Child giving flower

Thank goodness for friends who recommend good books! It began casually when a colleague was inquiring about my work as an artist. Out of that conversation came his recommendation to read The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde. Initially written in 1979 its message is as timely as ever. I’m reading it slowly and carefully because it offers great insight about what gift culture can teach us. It reveals the distinctions between gift and capitalist ‘economies’. Even though the intention is not to be a theological treatise one cannot help but understand the implications as a Christian and the author does point out the obvious from time to time not just in terms of the Christian tradition but from many diverse faith traditions.

Read more: Rector's Message

A congregation gathers on a Sunday morning. There has been a lot of preparation. The altar has been set, bulletins have been printed, the heat turned up. The choir has practiced, the children have been at Sunday School. The words of Scripture, the hymns, the sermon, the prayers have challenged and inspired. All have come to the altar rail for Christ's body and blood. The fellowship of coffee hour awaits. The Church, St. Paul said, is the body of Christ and each a member. It's true! Never perfect, filled with all sorts and characters. And yet, a beautiful living organism of God's grace.

Coming Events

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 5:00 PM
Choir Practice

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 6:15 PM
Evening Prayer

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 12:00 PM
Eucharist & Bible Discussion

Sunday, October 5, 2014 10:00 AM
Eucharist

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 5:00 PM
Choir Practice

Give to St. Johns

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." /> Amount: