The psychologist Scott
Peck begins his famous best-seller, "The Road Less Travelled" with the immortal
words, "Life is difficult." That simple statement has been a revelation to many
of Scott Peck's readers, for it has brought them a sense of freedom. They no
longer have to struggle with feelings of guilt and inadequacy just because
nothing in their lives runs smoothly. Once they can accept that life is
difficult, they are free to make of it the best that they can without worrying
too much about how awful their life is.
Jesus said, "The one to whom little is forgiven, loves little." In
our worship today, let us ask God to make us fully aware of our need for
forgiveness, so that we may learn to forgive others with love which
Invitation to Confession:
Jesus, we often think we're quite good people, especially
compared to many others. Lord, have mercy.
Jesus refused to answer Pilate or any of his accusers, even
through he knew they would make him suffer. In our worship today, we consider
why our integrity is so important that we might even be prepared to suffer for
Invitation to Confession:
Jesus, when I'm tempted to lie to save my own
skin, Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, when I'm tempted to lie save other people's
feelings, Christ, have mercy.
I sometimes catch those programmes on television which offer
people an evening out with the celebrity of their choice, or at least, ask
people who they would choose if they could have that choice. Film stars and pop
stars usually come at the top of the list, closely followed by royalty,
especially the younger and handsomer members of the royal family.
see some of the choices I find myself shuddering and wonder what on earth
people can see in such a person. But I suppose the choice is usually based on
I remember going to a Lent group years ago, where the priest gave
all us lay folk a piece of paper and a pen and asked us to write down what we
knew about Jesus. He didn't want us to write down what we'd been told about
Jesus or read about Jesus, but simply what we knew for ourselves from our own
I ended up with a blank sheet of paper, but one person
wrote, "I know that Jesus saves me." That led onto an interesting discussion
along the lines of: saves you from something? Or for something?
In any daily newspaper there are always catalogues of horrific
events perpetrated by human beings on other human beings, and it seems to be
getting worse. There doesn't seem to be much respect for law and order, and
even those who once would have been ashamed to be involved in any questionable
activity, now seem to work under the premiss that if they don't get caught,
it's all right.
Some of the horrors are inflicted on the body; rape,
assault, grievous bodily harm, murder. But other horrors are perpetrated on the
In this week’s lectionary gospel passage, Jesus tells a parable that at first glance seems antithetical to modern sensibilities. A vineyard owner is hiring day laborers to work in his fields, and early in the day he hires several workers at the usual going daily rate. Later in the day, the owner sees additional workers still standing at their gathering place, hoping for even a small job, and he tells them to go to the vineyard as well. Yet at the end of the day, the workers who labored for only a few hours receive a full day’s earnings.
Ron Love Mark Ellingsen Bonnie Bates Bob Ove Frank Ramirez Bill Thomas
“God will provide.” We’ve all heard that expression. Probably we’ve said it a few times too. Those are the easy parts, hearing it and saying it. Trusting that he will can be a different matter. I read the following story in a missionary magazine, and thought it would be a great way to illustrate this passage.
I heard a story once of a custodian who worked at a certain university. Among his responsibilities, he emptied the wastebaskets in the administration building where the president of the university had his office. The school underwent a change in presidents during this custodian’s time there, and he found that his experience of his job changed. “I didn’t mind emptying Dr. Wilson’s garbage,” he remarked, referring to the former president.
Recently I noticed in the media that the government are planning to give each teenager in England a gift of up to 10,000 pounds on reaching the age of eighteen. My first reaction was one of horror, imagining what most teenagers of my acquaintance would do with that kind of money!
So this fellow up in Sonoma County, not far from wine-growing Napa County, anxiously watched the weather forecast. Heavy rains of November were on the way across the Pacific. The grapes were mature and ready for harvest. Having no regular work crew, he went in to the union hall to get day laborers to do the picking. They agreed to work for ten dollars per hour. But the work didn't go fast enough and the sky was darkening with black clouds. Several times during the day he added more and more workers until the harvest was safely in the winery's barn.