the Word: 15th Sunday after Pentecost

God speaks this week through these scriptures:

Jonah 3:10-4:11 – God’s concern for the city of Nineveh
Psalm 145:1-8 – The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Philippians 1:21-30 – Standing firm in the gospel
Matthew 20:1-16 – The parable of the vineyard workers

When God changes his mind about punishing Nineveh for their evil ways, Jonah is angry. Yet God is gracious and merciful, abounding in steadfast love.

Paul shares his joy in the faith and calls for unity, for only because of God’s unending forgiveness for both sides of every quarrel can we accept one another and live in unity.

Matthew narrates one of Jesus’ controversial parables, in which Jesus says the reign of God is like workers who get paid the same no matter when they start. This might strike us as troubling: what, shouldn’t we get paid more if we work longer hours?! The last shall be first?

In baptism we receive the grace of God that is freely given to all. As Luther wrote, in the presence of God’s mercy we are all beggars.

Come to worship, to meditate on the good news found in this story and to receive the meal of God’s mercy.

—From and Gail Ramshaw—

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