Today’s sermon at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
was titled, “The Amazing and Exasperating Grace of God.”
I’ve certainly heard God’s grace described as
AMAZING before. That’s typical.
Do you know the story of the “Workers in the Vineyard”? It’s found in Matthew 20: 1-16.
Essentially it tells of a landowner who needed extra workers in his vineyard. He agreed to pay the ones who started picking grapes that morning a silver coin for their day’s labor.
Later, with just an hour left in the work day, he realized the workers needed help to finish the job before sundown, so he hired a bunch more workers to help finish the job. This last bunch were the “left-overs” who had not been hired earlier. We can only imagine why they may have been left behind.
At the end of the day, the ones who came last (and had only worked an hour) were paid first. Each received a silver coin.
The ones who had worked all day saw that – and figured they would get more. They probably expected ten times more, since they had worked a ten hour day. When all they received was the same pay as the ones who worked only the last hour, they complained bitterly.
On that story, Rev. Steve Hundley based his sermon, and I took notes (as I do each Sunday) in poetry as I listened. Here they are:
The Amazing and Exasperating Grace of God
Reading the Word of God daily
Helps you discover joy in life;
But some difficult passages
Cause misunderstanding and strife.
Like the story of the workers
Who were paid equal wages
Whether they worked one hour
Or ten… Imagine the rages!
It’s hard to understand
How such treatment is fair.
Jesus explained the boss could
Pay the wages anyway he cared.
Likewise, those who come lately
To the Kingdom of God on earth
Will receive the same blessings as
Those who served the Lord since birth.
Does this seem a fair idea?
Are deathbed conversions real?
Maybe some of them are fake,
But it’s not up to me or how I feel.
This parable isn’t about the workers.
It’s about the generous vineyard boss
Who is a symbol of our Gracious God.
He focuses on the workers, not the cost.
Our God calls out the left-overs
And tells them, “I have room for you.”
God’s amazing grace and love are real,
And they’re available to all – not just a few.
Load me up, Lord.
Haul me to your vineyard.
I’m ready to work!
Have you ever found God’s Amazing Grace to be Exasperating?
Or is there a Bible story that you find difficult to understand?
Tell me about it.
Have a Super Sunday.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow.