Will You Come (back) to Church the Vineyard with me on September 25th???

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Normally I don’t use this blog to post any of my sermon thoughts/material….but I guess my vanity wins out today :P. There have been a few things that occurred to me this week that I figured might be of some use to those who are reading this blog. 🙂

This morning I was blessed with a chance to preach on the Parable of the Vineyard Workers. This is a story where we are given a glimpse into the type of person God is and what God is doing in the world.

Like all parables, the story is not to be taken literally, but as a metaphor for the kingdom of God; a narrative reflection of our longing for God’s peace and love and justice…and what that reality will look like when it finally reaches fruition at the end of the age.

In Jesus’ story of the Vineyard workers….each of the workers is valued and loved. It doesn’t matter who they are, or how long they have worked, they are all given an equal share of God’s abundant love and grace.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what this means in light of Back to Church Sunday which is being adapted from the UK for Huron, as well as several other Dioceses in Canada.

Are we preaching and teaching a message that invites all people to join us??? Are we creating an environment where they feel welcomed, loved, and that any work they do or walk of life they are from has value??? What kind of community are we welcoming them back to???

I am totally aware that of course, we can never measure up to the level of God’s generosity….and that we will indeed fall short.

There might even be some level of hostility and resentment that we–who have been faithful attendees at Sunday worship for decades–should be considered equal to those who are just entering the sanctuary for the first time….or finding their way back after a long journey away from home.

And yet….I think there is a tendency to forget that we too at one time were new members of the Church. Whether baptized as infant or as an adult…there were people who helped to build us up in spiritual strength and confidence. We all at one time or another are unsure of our call to discipleship….and hesitant to offer our gifts and talents to the wider community, for fear that we might be rejected.

But here’s the Good News: God says that he will not reject you…..he won’t bother taking into account the crappy things you have done in your life….he won’t reject our attempts to live morally in this world…..he won’t reject you even if there is anger, fear, or doubts that lingers in the back of your mind. All of that has been left at the foot of the Cross.

Regardless of what you have done….. you are worth it! You are made in the image and likeness of God…and God loves you so much that there is nothing he won’t do to reclaim you as his very own child…even if it costs him pain suffering and death.

You are beautiful, irreplaceable, and vital to the world around you….and no one can take that knowledge away from you. ❤

If you have been thinking about surrounding yourself in a community of the faithful…don't hesitate! :D….Come….not because I told you to….but because it is Christ who invites you here….All are welcome, all are accepted, and all are loved. 😀

If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their reward.

If any have come after the third hour,
let them with gratitude join in the feast!

Those who arrived after the sixth hour,
let them not doubt; for they shall not be short-changed.

Those who have tarried until the ninth hour,
let them not hesitate; but let them come too.

And those who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let them not be afraid by reason of their delay.

For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
The Lord gives rest to those who come at the eleventh hour,
even as to those who toiled from the beginning.

To one and all the Lord gives generously.
The Lord accepts the offering of every work.
The Lord honours every deed and commends their intention.

Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!

**Excerpt from the Paschal (Easter) Homily of St. John Chrysostom**

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Evening Prayer: Feb 16th

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Psalms: 119:121-144
Gospel: Mark 11:27-12:12
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a Commentary on Proverbs by Procupus of Gaza

OK so……..I got nothing. I don’t know what it is today :P……I do have a paper on tonight’s parable……I might post that…..what’s up with me today :S

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