Today’s Reading: Matthew 20:1-16
Daily Lectionary: Job 6:1-13; John 3:1-21
For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. (Matthew 20:1)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The kingdom of God is never fair in the world’s eyes. The master of the house seems like he’s cheating people out of a proper salary. Today’s workers would demand equal pay, equal benefits, and might even form a union to make sure the master is fair with his employees.
With the eyes of faith, we see that the kingdom of heaven is a kingdom of grace and joy. It is headed by a master who is willing to give graciously to all, regardless of how much or how little they have done.
This parable reminds us that in heaven there will be all kinds of people. There will be the seemingly religious success stories: the ministers, the choir members, the little old ladies who attended every Bible study for 75 years, along with those whose presence might shock us, or even dare offend us. You might see your classmates there who thought you were dumb for believing in Jesus. You might see your family members who rarely darkened the door of a church, but still had faith. You might even see someone you think is the worst person in the world.
This doesn’t seem fair, but it is God who does the calling of all to repentance and faith. Receive this good news with joy and rejoice that the invitation has come. God’s grace and mercy and heaven are yours at the expense of Jesus, who labored on the Cross for you and paid the price for your sins. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. -Rev. Kent Schaaf
O Lord, we implore You favorably to hear the prayers of Your people that we, who are justly punished for our offenses, may be mercifully delivered by Your goodness, for the glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Savior, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Septuagesima)