But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’ (Matthew 20:13-16)
Matthew narrates one of Jesus’ controversial parables, in which Jesus says the reign of God is like workers who get paid the same no matter when they start. When God changes his mind about punishing Nineveh for their evil ways, Jonah is angry. Yet God is gracious and merciful, abounding in steadfast love. In baptism we receive the grace of God that is freely given to all. As Luther wrote, in the presence of God’s mercy we are all beggars.
Is God Fair?
The Hymn of the Day at traditional services this week is ” There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” (ELW 587). A familiar hymn text sung to a new tune can bring out different lessons. Here, this expansive tune, written for these words, reminds us of God’s generosity which comes to us through Jesus’ words and actions. In New Day Praise service the worship song will be “This is Amazing Grace” and opens with these powerful words … “Who breaks the power of sin and darkness? Whose love is mighty and so much stronger? We remind ourselves of the answer to both questions this Sunday … it is our gracious and loving God
Home Devotional Questions
- Have you ever felt that God was unfair to you?
- Does God’s abundance and generous spirit turn questions of “fairness” into meaningless words?
- Do you think you deserve everything you get? If not, can you really claim unfairness for things that don’t go your way?
- Have you earned everything you have?