Matthew narrates one of Jesus’ controversial parables in which Jesus says that the reign of God is like that of a landowner who pays his workers the same wage no matter what time of day they began to work. When God changes God’s mind about punishing Nineveh for their evil ways, Jonah is angry. Yet God is gracious and merciful, abounding ins teadfast love .in baptism we receive the grace of God that is freely given to all. As Martin Luther wrote, in the presence of God’s mercy we are all beggars.
God’s concern for the city of Nineveh
The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love
Standing firm in the gospel
The parable of the vineyard workers
Worship Themes and Music
The message in this week’s readings is clear, God’s dispenses mercy with an abandon we simply don’t understand. Every worker in the vineyard gets the same reward, regardless of the amount they have done. This seems extremely unfair to the people who have been doing the work for longer, and yet, we know it to be true. We are reminded that it is God’s action on the cross and not our own merit which accomplishes salvation.
We proclaim God’s amazing mercy (and our befuddlement about it!) in our hymn of the day this week when we sing:
For the love of God is broader than the measures of our mind;
and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.
But we make this love too narrow by false limits of our own;
and we magnify its strictness with a zeal God will not own.
We pray that God would continue to spread love and mercy throughout the whole world, regardless of every boundary.
Boundless love is difficult to emulate. What are some ways we show forth this love in our lives and in our worship?
God’s faithfulness is everlasting. How can we can continue to be faithful to God, our community, and our families in times of trouble? In times of plenty?