Work is a blessing! To put work in the proper perspective let’s talk about attitude first. This Sunday the lessons, including our Gospel lesson focused on repentance. Jesus tells a parable to his enemies to remind them that their outward obedience isn’t good enough for God. In fact there are many whom they would call “sinners” that are in the kingdom of God by faith. In Jesus’ day this was the prostitutes. When I was a kid, it was a drug dealer or a gang member. Who is the worst of the worst? Maybe a terrorist these days? Jesus’ point is that there is no sin so great that he can’t forgive. No matter what your behavior has been, there is forgiveness in Jesus.
This doesn’t give us a direct application. We aren’t the worst of the worst. The danger for all of us is 1) to refuse our God. We sin in thought, word, and deed daily. When our Lord Jesus Christ said repent, he meant that our whole lives needed to be ones of repentance. 2) The other danger is to believe that lip service is good enough. We’ve been good our whole lives! God knows it and so do we. This is the lie some people actually believe. No one is good enough for God. If that message sounds too harsh, you’re walking down the right spiritual path. It is sinners that Jesus receives! Jesus’ death paid for all of your sins – big and small. It is his sacrifice that motivates us to get to work.
What does that response look like? When we know all that God has done for us, we need to respond! Back in 2014 near the Canadian border in New York two Amish girls, 7 and 12, were kidnapped. After a few hours they escaped and ran to a nearby house owned by the Stinsons. The couple fed the girls and took them home. The girls’ family were so thankful they had to do something. As it turned out the Stinson’s garage had burned down while they were away on vacation – it was accidental. The Amish family insisted – they wouldn’t take no for an answer – on having a garage raising. Much like a barn raising only on a smaller scale. I’m sure I would have to do something for the person who returned my girls after kidnapping too. It is with that same gratitude that we go through life. It is with that same gratitude that we work in the vineyard.
Click HERE for the list of jobs that we looked at to open the sermon.
Want to hear more? Watch this Sunday’s Message taken from Matthew 21, the second in our stewardship series – Work in the Vineyard.
Series: In the Vineyard
Speaker(s): Fred Guldberg