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Grace & Justice

Grace and Justice in the Kingdom      Matthew 20:1-16

Climate change is a term that’s become commonplace today. Mention it at a social gathering and it’s sure to stimulate spirited discussion from different viewpoints.

If we consider climate change within church culture, it is no less controversial. Those who have been faithful members of a church community over many years can sometimes feel confused or resentful when new members – ‘latecomers’ – introduce ideas and practices that differ from what has become established tradition.

Change can be an exciting adventure, though we may not always think it’s for the best. Yet it is inevitable. We can embrace change with optimism and enthusiasm, or we can resist it – especially if we feel uncertain of our future.

This week’s gospel contains the Parable of the Vineyard Workers – a rude reminder that we can never earn our way into God’s kingdom, no matter how deserving we may think we are.

God desires that all should respond to his invitation to enjoy his gift of salvation earned through Jesus Christ and so share in the great feast of eternal life.

Many people we don’t expect to see in the kingdom will be there. And we must be thankful and never begrudge those who ‘turn up late’ for the feast. For no one deserves to be there.

And as faithful believers, the great hope we share in Christ is a future of which we can be absolutely certain.


Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert

[Sun 11/9/11  7.30am, 9.30am Dunoon, also Wed 14/9/11  11am]

Grace and Justice in the Kingdom      Matthew 20:1-16 


The Parable of the Latecomers      

20‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the labourers for the usual daily wage,* he sent them into his vineyard. 3When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the market-place; 4and he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. 5When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. 6And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?” 7They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard.” 8When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” 9When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.* 10Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage.* 11And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” 13But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?* 14Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. 15Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?”* 16So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’*

C God calls us all though only some respond.

C Even latecomers are valuable to God.



C Salvation comes only by God’s grace – it’s undeserved and can’t be earned.