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The Immediate Word

TIW Contributors

George Reed
Mary Austin
Dean Feldmeyer
Chris Keating
Beth Herrinton-Hodge
Ron Love
Robin Lostetter
Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - A
Mary Austin

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. Those who put in a full day, naturally, expect something much more than that -- and when they also receive the full day’s pay that they had originally bargained for, they (and we) are struck with a profound sense of injustice that they are receiving exactly the same compensation as the partial-day workers. Instead, we think they ought to receive similar recompense per hour -- and the vineyard owner’s policies seem profoundly unfair to us. While this parable is most often interpreted as an allegory about God’s grace being equally available to us throughout our lives whether we accept it early or late, team member Mary Austin has a different viewpoint in this installment of The Immediate Word.


What is The Immediate Word?

The Immediate Word gives a theological perspective on today's headlines and popular culture for your sermon, children’s sermon, and worship service. The Immediate Word gives a theological perspective on today's headlines and popular culture.

Cutting Edge: THE IMMEDIATE WORD gives you the tools to be cutting edge ... to put you in touch with today's most critical issues and to aid you in crafting messages and presentations that will truly help your congregants understand the Gospel in the context of what is current and most important to them.

Collaborative: THE IMMEDIATE WORD is a unique collaboration of some of the sharpest, most contemporary clergy of our day in an Internet-based service that gives you weekly information, inspiration, and presentation materials for your sermon, children’s sermon, and worship service.

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Interactive: THE IMMEDIATE WORD is a dynamic, interactive process. First, among the team of clergy that creates it every week. Secondly, with you: you can personally participate in the creation process by providing your input and reactions to the input of others on new sermons, children’s sermons, sermon outlines and worship resources.

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Proper 20 | Ordinary Time 25 - A
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Peter Andrew Smith
Frank Ramirez
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"Redefining Fair" by Peter Andrew Smith
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Redefining Fair
by Peter Andrew Smith
Matthew 20:1-16

“Are you boys finished with your chores yet?” Linda called out from the kitchen.

Paul put two full bags of plastic containers next to the garage door. “I finished everything and Joey is almost done.”

The Immediate Word

Mary Austin
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.

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Arley K. Fadness
...I chose to give to this last the same as I give to you...so the last will be first and the first will be last. (v. 14b, 16)

Good morning boys and girls,

It's so fun to see you here at church and especially to see you come up and sit and visit with me. Thanks for listening. How are you? You look wonderful and happy.

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Ron Love
Mark Ellingsen
Bonnie Bates
Bob Ove
Frank Ramirez
Bill Thomas
Exodus 16:2-15
“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.
David Kalas
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.

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
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!

SermonStudio

Jerry L. Schmalenberger
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.

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