Poem based on Matthew 21:33-46 The Parable of the Tenants

It has been a long time really
Since the beginning of time
We just need a bit more time
To fix things
make the right
the fruit is not cooperating
and we are not sure we like it anyway
we have some suggestions for improvement
what fruit to let in
and what to keep out
and then there is that big stone over there
it is in the way
we are trying to build a wall
keep others out
and after all this time
don’t you think it should be ours anyway
don’t you
and Jesus looked down from the cross
and said
Father, forgive them
For they know not what they do

Opening Litany based on Psalm 80:7-15

Pastor: Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

Congregation: You liberated your people from slavery in the land of the Pharaohs.  You gave them a great land and a great calling, just as you have given us a great land and a great calling.  You blessed them with abundance as you have blessed us with abundance.  

Pastor: Why then O Lord have you broken down the walls so that all who pass by may pick its grapes? Why O Lord do you let the wild things and insects ravage and feed upon the abundance you have blessed us with?

Congregation: Return to us, God Almighty! Look to us from your heavenly realm and watch over this blessing you have planted, the children of God you have called your own, and help us in turn return to You as the cornerstone of our lives. 

weeding and pruning

Sunday October 5th, Isaiah 5:  1 I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. 3 "Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4 What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad? God created the world and called all that was created not just good, but very good.  God loves this world and has cared for it.  The world has not done so well by God however.  While God is waiting for the fruit of justice and caring for one another to mature within this world, it has returned mainly war and greed.  This creation has all that is needed to be called once again, very good.  What is needed however is for you and I, the worker tenants, to do a little weeding and pruning, starting with our own lives.  I was just in the store and while there could overhear all the conversations about the game this weekend.  War and unrest loom in the Mid-East.   What have we become?  How easily we are bought off with the shiny trinkets of entertainment and war.  My father used to refer to our national obsession of sports as stylized warfare so perhaps one could say that what we are really addicted to is war, in all its manifestations.  Is this the fruit we are called to produce?  Is this the world created by a loving God and called Good? Is this the limit of your calling?

Farmers know

Monday October 6th, Isaiah 5:  5 Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled. 6 I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it." 7 The vineyard of the LORD Almighty is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are the garden of his delight. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.  Sometimes, the best one can do for one’s children is to let them go on their own and experience the fruitlessness of a non-connected life. It is painful to watch, often times because it reminds us of our own experiences.  Fredrick Buechner points out in Wishful Thinking, that Christians aren’t any better than anyone else, they just have some half-baked idea who to thank, and what a difference knowing who to thank and going about thanking them makes.  Buddhists would call it mindful presence.  Farmers know that sometimes just letting a field rest for a while is the best thing you can do for it if you want long term production.  But as a parent, which I imagine as similar to God in this situation, it is tough thing to watch, and hoping someday they will find their way and stop hurting is a long and often painful process.

“I” after “I” after “I.”

Tuesday October 7th, Philippians 3: a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.  7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  How many “I’s” did you count?  Have you ever known someone with an “I” problem who fills their conversation, about God, the church, family etc. with “I” after “I” after “I.”?  The trouble is that we listen to them and then go away with a firm commitment to use “I” less often.  When we assume to see a little success we think we have it made. We wouldn’t want to appear soo prideful.  Sometimes it is also a ruse to simply do less.   Garrison Kelleher would point out that most Lutheran’s rather than having an “I” trouble have the opposite trouble.  We are so worried that we might slip an “I” in there that we never volunteer for anything.  Somehow it would be nice to strike a balance between “Look what I did” and “I will just sit here and wait for God to do it, I don’t want to seem too prideful.”  

walk with integrity

Wednesday October 8th, Philippians 3: I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.  It is not my doing that brings about any righteousness.  If it were my doing, it would be self-righteousness and the world already has too much of that.  No, I walk in the presence of God, doing my best day in and day out, being thankful for what I have and asking for forgiveness for those turns that take me to the “self” side of the world.  All good that comes into my life is from Christ, what goes out, I pray has some of Christ in it and lots of forgiveness for what was left in-between.  When you walk with integrity as a child of God, seeds just seem to be planted.  

walking humbly

Thursday October 9th, Matthew 21:  33"Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. This world has all that is needed for all to live as God intended.  The call is to live as the children of God and to show mercy, love justice and walk humbly before our God.  We have a little trouble with the mercy part, and now that it is mentioned, the justice part also, and we don’t do so well at walking humbly before God.  There are times we even blame God for our part in the mess, but that doesn’t work so well. There are a few shining examples but most of the fruit is kind of small and sour. Sometimes the fruit we get is processed.  I will offer something I stole from the facebook of a pastor friend in Iowa.  Some Presidential wannabes loudly proclaim their belief that we need to restore religious values into American politics. If the religion they would have applied to the political realm is the Christian religion it would mean (among other things) that our government would have us pray for our enemies, not bomb them; feed the poor, not raise food prices; care for the sick, not add to their woes; share burdens, not overburden some; bless children, not deprive them; encourage the wealthy to sell what they have and give the money to the poor. These are the lessons, the "values" of Christ. Am I missing something? (pause) Don't tell me that those who want this to be "a Christian nation" are singing the praises of power, avarice, and oppressing the poor! Don't they know that power, avarice, and oppression are the antitheses of the values Christ brought to earth? If not, someone needs to tell them. I'll try. I hope you will, too.

sage advice

Friday October 10th, Matthew 21: 35 "The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. 'They will respect my son,' he said.  38 "But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him and take his inheritance.' 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. In the beginning was the temptation to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, gain all knowledge and be like God, knowing good and evil and everything in-between.  Since partaking of that tree, we have been learning, albeit a bit more on the evil side than on the good side of that equation.  Lest this become only history, look back on the times in your life when you rejected those prophets who brought you sage advice about the kingdom. Think back on the times when the Gospel was similarly shunned, and how even now there are parts of the good news that if not shunned by you and I, are at least placed sort of on the back of the shelf.  This is not so much a lesson in public or even private humiliation and shame as it is in self-realization.  If you and I, who are fully aware that we are children of God and yet upon very little self-examination realize we are not very good at being a child of God and are sometimes even hostile to it, are saved by grace, is it outside of the realm of possibility for anyone?

That may hurt

Saturday:  October 11th, Matthew 21: 43 "Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed." Oh, you mean all that grace is supposed to produce fruit?  The corner stone; when building a building, that is the one on which you line up everything else.  You measure from it to get the length and width and you measure from it diagonally to square and true things up.  Without that starting point as a reference, you are just plain off.  If you enjoy building things like I do, and are messy like I am, you know there will be times when you will be looking off somewhere as you are walking about and you will trip over something you left on the floor. (believe me, this is not just a metaphor).  It is at these moments that you realize that whatever you are doing, you have to be aware of what might trip you up.  Trip over a large stone laying there a few times and you will be aware of it.  That stone will break all your preconceived ideas of what seems to be a safe path and teach a little humility in the process.  If you try to ignore the cornerstone in your life, God will see to it that you trip over it from time to time as a reminder.  That may hurt the ego a bit but it is very effective.  I think the message of the cornerstone falling on someone is what happens when you try to undermine it.  Either way, God will get our attention somehow.


10w for September 28th, "Peaceful God?" NL.

The following is a 10 minute worship for September 28th, "Peaceful God?" NL.  You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List. The song of the week is “Praise to You” by Dakota Road, used with permission from their album “Break These Chains”. You can find this album and others at their website: http://www.dakotaroadmusic.com

10w for September 28th, Change and Authority.

The following is a 10 minute worship for September 28th, Change and Authority.  You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List. The song of the week is “What Do You Want From Me” used with permission from Andra Moran from her album, “Harmony Grove”.  You can find this song, this album, and other work at her website: www.andramoran.com


Poem based on Matthew 21:23-32 The Authority of Jesus Questioned

We had things all arranged
just the way we like them
and then you
do you think you are
by what authority do you speak
and change the way we had changed things?
Abraham had been given the promise
And we
Over time
Had whittled it down to something
We could live
Not them
We have said all along we would bring out the good news
We would gather in the nations
Beyond number
Beyond the sands of the desert
Beyond the stars in the heavens
We would bring them in
And include them
As soon
As they
To live, look, dress, talk, think
Like us
By what authority to you include

Opening Litany based on Psalm 25

Opening Litany Psalm 25,
Psalm 25: 1-10 - This psalm is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet, therefore in using the first ten verses I attempted to follow that patterning in English.

Pastor: All gather before you O Lord as we lift our souls to you.
Congregation: Be merciful onto us O Lord and do not let us be put to shame for we put our trust in You O Lord our God.

Pastor: Can anyone whose hope is in the Lord be put to shame?

Congregation: Doomed however are those who are treacherous without excuse, for they will be put to shame.

Pastor: Evermore you will show me your ways, O LORD and teach me to walk in your paths; You O Lord guide me in your truth and teach me your ways,
Congregation: For you are my God and my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Pastor: Gracious Lord, Remember your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.

Congregation: Heed not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways;

Pastor: Instead, remember me according to your love, for you are merciful, O LORD.

Congregation: Just and upright is the LORD who instructs sinners in the ways of righteousness.

Pastor: Kindly the Lord guides the humble in what is right and teaches them the ways of grace and mercy.

Congregation: Lord our God, all your ways are loving and faithful for those who walk in your ways.

see the goodness

Sunday September 28th,   Ezekiel 18:25 Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? 26 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin, they will die for it; because of the sin they have committed they will die. 27 But if a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life.28 Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die. 29 Yet the Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, people of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust?  There is a tendency to want to justify our ways of doing things as the work of the Lord.  Often times it is only to put a Lord stamp on what it is that we want.  War, Money, Power, Me on top with all others on the bottom.  I think not and it is not justified in scripture.  God looked at all that was created and called it good.  It is our calling also, to look on all creation, and all creatures and see them as good and carrying within them the spark of God.  When you look out onto your world this day, see there the goodness of God in each and every person and thing you see.  

do and say

Monday September 29th,   Ezekiel 18: 30 Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? 32For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!  Turn away from your selfish ways and live.  Turn away from your selfish ways and be the children of God in this world.  Turn away from your selfish ways and be the hands and feet and heart and soul of God in this world.  Let the spirit of God live within you and the spirit of God guide you in all you think, do and say and then, live.

loneliest number

Tuesday September 30th,  Philippians 2:  1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. We are moving into the midterm election season. As we reflect on this text during this political season, we need first be reminded that being likeminded does not mean agreeing on everything.  It does mean that the love of God grounds you and connects you to one another so the question is never about “me” but about “us.”  Doing what you can to limit the “us” is never about Democracy.  Supporting a party which practices limiting the rights of voters is never about the work of God and therefore the current GOP policy of using the scare of voter fraud to commit voter fraud is not of Christ. If the behavior were on the playground it would be called being a bully.   When we focus on what is best for “us” then we start to get at what is best for “me.”  When you only focus on the “me” you never get to the “us.”  And as the old song goes, One is the loneliest number…

fill in the blank

Wednesday October 1st,  Philippians 2: 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.  Do we really work out our salvation with fear and trembling? For most of us I would say the answer is no.  But if fear and trembling is on one end of the spectrum, what is on the other end?  It is Joy?  No, Joy comes somewhere in the middle, in that place where there is good balance.  On the other end for fear and trembling is “ho-hum.”  On the other end of fear and trembling is “I believe in God and all that but…. Well…..I’m busy….Sunday is a bad day for me, so is Wednesday….I have been meaning to get more involved……it is the only day the children have to sleep in with hockey practice on Saturday….and on and on and on and on.  I believe in a God of grace and I believe that all of creation is saved by this grace and I don’t think we exactly need fear and trembling, but let’s face it, ho-hum is just another way to telling the God that created you to take a hike or worse……… you fill in the blank. 

sometimes forget

Thursday October 2nd,  Matthew 21:  28 "What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.'  29 " 'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. In Matthews society, telling the father “no” is a major act of shaming a father in public.  In this case, the son said no but then changed his mind and later went.  For Matthews’s church this would be the ones who rejected the word of God, not only verbally, but with their actions and lives, but later, like the gentiles who were coming to the new followers of Christ, came to God.  The church was a little suspect as it begin filling up with those of not the best reputation, the sinners and tax collectors Jesus talked about.  In Jesus ministry however, Jesus was always going to the outsiders in order to show the Gospel to the insiders.  Outsiders are hungry for the Gospel and want to hear all about it.  Insiders can sometimes begin to think they have heard it all and don’t even realize their road has just taken a hard turn to the right.  The trouble with insiders is that they sometimes forget why they are there.  Our churches are filled with insiders.

purse strings

Friday October 3rd, Matthew 21:  28 "What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.'  30 "Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go. Not as many people saw the young lad who did not show up for the work.  What they do remember is the father who has been shamed in the community.  For Matthews’s church, these are the ones who have been there all along.  They know church inside and out and have this unspoken concept that they know it all.  Adult Bible Study is no longer important and they drop the kids off at the door for their Sunday School.  Confirmation was boring for them so they don’t make their children go.  Just a little pushback is all it takes for them to cave.  They want to make the decisions and choose the music to fit their comfort zone and mission is something they send money to but not something they do.  Church has become a social club with religious language in which they pull all the purse strings.  It has ceased being church, it has ceased being the body of Christ.  

upside down

Saturday October 4th,  Matthew 21:  31 "Which of the two did what his father wanted?" "The first," they answered.   Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.  Welcome to the new church of Christ.  It is filled with outsiders, the lowly, the tax collectors and the sinners, but also often the salt of the earth.  It is the place where gay couples teach married couples what commitment is all about even when marriage is not available to them as a couple.  It is a place where drug users and abusers teach the upright and uptight what grace is all about because it is the only thing that has given them a chance.  It is a place where the poor teach the rich what giving is all about because their life has revolved around a community that can only exist in its presence.  It is a place where God has turned our world upside down with three simple words.  Saved by Grace.  


10w for September 21st, the Great Reversal, P15.

The following is a 10 minute worship for September 21st, the Great Reversal, P15.  You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List. The song for the day is: If You Eat Each Day by Bryan Sirchio from the CD Justice and Love  http://www.sirchio.com/index.php?page=cds&viewas=list

10w for September 21st, Joseph in Prison, NL.

The following is a 10 minute worship for September 21st, Joseph in Prison, NL. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List. The song for the day is: Waiting for the Lord by the Jay Beech Band from the CD Everyone Who is Thirsty Come http://www.baytonemusic.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=BTM


Poem based on Matthew 20:1-16 The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

And I will be taken up into the highest heaven

And from there…..
I will get to look down
(each received)
On all those Johnny come lately’s
In this game of heaven
And hell
I won
(labored under the burden)
Or at least came out on top
It was tough
Not much fun
But boy oh boy
Will it be worth it in the end
There is an end
Isn’t there?
Out there somewhere
An end
That will make it all worth while
The reward
Consummate upon my performance
Better than most I might add
(are you envious)
(because I am generous)
I earned it????
(the last)
The kingdom of God

Opening Litany based on Psalm 145: 1-8

Pastor: I will exalt you, my God the King and praise your name forever and ever.

Congregation: Every day of my life I will praise you O Lord and extol your name in all that I say and do.  

Pastor: Great and worthy of Praise is the LORD whose greatness no one can fathom. Each generation is called upon to commend the works of the Lord to the next, telling of the mighty acts of God. 

Congregation: We will speak of and show the glorious splendor of the majesty of the Lord to our children, and our community.

Pastor: O that our deeds would tell of the awesome ways of the Lord, celebrating the abundant goodness and righteousness of the Lord with joyful song. 

Congregation: For the LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.

The church of God will grow

Sunday September 21st, Jonah 3:  10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

Jonah 4: 1 But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Nostalgia has been described as six parts fantasy, three parts regret and one part history.  We often remember the good old days in ways they never were.  When Jonah saw the changes in Nineveh his reality changed and he was still able to make it all about himself.  In our churches we remember what it was like in the past in some very fanciful ways and then project this false reality onto others.  The reality is that the church is changing and will continue to change as each new person comes to join the worship community as well as when some of the ones we are used to being there, are no longer there.  When that false reality is bucked, new people just leave.  The keepers of the memory, whether true or false, are left with ever dwindling numbers and the mission is Christ is stifled in that place.  The church of God will grow and reach others with the good news of God’s love and grace, but each congregation has to ask itself if it is ready to be a part of that vision and mission.  

will prevail

Monday September 22nd, Jonah 3:  5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the LORD God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”  9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”   “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”  10 But the LORD said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” What are our concerns in life?  For most of us, contrary to what we say are our concerns, our main concerns center around our own well-being.  One of the uphill battles for religion is to get the adherents of that religion to move from a concern for the me to a concern for the we.  The story of Jonah illustrates that in Jonah’s concern for the plant over 120000 people in the city of Ninevah.  That may seem silly to us, but then our choices in life may seem a bit silly to others.  But with a bit of advertising and the right code words, someone without a job can be drawn to be concerned over gay marriage or abortion or some other hot button ballot bait issue while voting against their own and their nation’s best interest.  Sometimes in the midst of things it is hard to realize that the way of the Lord will prevail in this world.  What the story of Jonah asks is, we will be a part of God’s way, or an obstacle along the way.  

Now live it!!

Tuesday September 23rd, Philippians 1:  27 Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Paul is writing this letter to the church at Philippi, but it could also be seen as a message from God directly to us.  In the face of the farce of end times theology that permeates the fundamentalists world, just live your life as it should be.   It is not a matter of getting ready for the big event, it is a matter of living each and every day of your life as the big event of salvation by grace unfolding.  Let nothing in your conduct change whether you think Christ is coming tomorrow or not, because if that is the reason you are living the way you are living, you are still not getting it.  It is the difference between living as a couple knowing the other loves you and living as a couple afraid that if you get out of line, the other will leave you.  One is life giving, and one is death dealing.  God loves you!  You don’t have to earn it!!  Now live it!!

right and just

Wednesday September 24th, Matthew 20:  1 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.  3 "About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' 5 So they went. First notice that the landowner doesn’t wait for others to come to him, the Landowner goes to the people and seeks them out.  Secondly, the wages were enough, not too much.  It was not a matter of grabbing the golden ring, it was simply what it took to get by for that day.  The real gift was purpose in life rather than standing around doing nothing.  What was offered was what the world as was right and just.  But just in our eyes and just in God’s eyes can sometimes be miles apart.  I wonder why is there no political conversation about that?    

it is not fair!!

Thursday September 25th, Matthew 20:  9 "The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.' This all could have been avoided you know.  If only the steward who paid them, paid the ones hired first before he paid the ones hired last.  They would have had their money and been on their way happy, content and clueless and any negative fallout could have been covered in the media.  But No, he had to make an issue out of it.  Why?   Well, perhaps for the landowner in the story, and for Jesus, it is because the lesson was more important than the pay.  And the lesson; all grace is amazing grace, and if you are working in the kingdom for special reward, you are there for the wrong reason.  If church must remain your church and not their church, then you gather for the wrong reason.  The reward is the work, and all are sought out and put to work.  That is the Kingdom justice, and you are right, it is not fair!!  But it is grace.


Friday September 26th, Matthew 20:  13 "But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'  Is your church envious because God is generous?  Some in the Church want to “Pray away the gay,” God wants to invite them in.  Some in the church want to “keep worship as it was when I was young,” God wants to make church inviting for those who are not there.   God wants us to work in the fields because working in the fields is the reward.  Some in the church want to be in charge.  God has to work against some in the church to be in charge.  God’s control of the world doesn’t look like control, because it is not, it is grace.  


10w for September 14th, A Story of Forgiveness.

The following is a 10 minute worship for September 14th, A Story of Forgiveness. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List. The song for the day is "Kyrie Elision" by Dakota Road from the CD "All Are Welcome"   http://www.dakotaroadmusic.com/index.php?p=catalog&parent=4&pg=1


10w for September 14th, Make the Roady by Walking, NL.

The following is a 10 minute worship for September 14th, Make the Roady by Walking, NL. You can listen on the flash player below. You now also have the option of receiving these notices each week and on festival days by signing up for the 10W constant contact email list on the right side of the 10W blog where it says "Please Join our Email List. The song for the day is "I want Jesus to Walk with Me" by Andra Moran from the CD "Little Miracles"  http://www.andramoran.com/store


Poem based on Matthew 18:21-35

We share this world

this life
with the many who are the
Children of God
We live
and sin
            and hate
                        and love
as do our brothers and sisters.
in forgiveness
Christ makes us one,
in envy
            we try to become two
forgive one another
live not as the master
or gatekeeper
lest you find yourself one day
facing the gate from the other side
forced by your own insistence
on the upholding of the law
than forgiveness
it is in forgiveness
that our division is united
and our soul healed once again
to see the glory of God
shinning into our lives

in love

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