Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

9/20/2008

One Long Day in the Vineyard

In tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus tells the parable of a landowner hiring laborers for his vineyard. He goes out to find works first thing of the morning then at nine, noon, three and even five o'clock. At the end of the day, he paid them all the same amount for their work. I preached on this before on the occasion of Jordan McKenzie Rowe's baptism,
Your parents have had a glimpse of life beyond these rows of grapes and discovered that the vineyard is the best place for you to grow up. Life in this vineyard is its own reward. Oh it’s no picnic. The landowner expects you to work. After all, Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to working in a vineyard, not to a pleasure cruise. A Bishop I know once said the cruise ship analogy might work for the Christian life, but the ship would be for crew only. A working vacation at best. No lounging about in the deck chairs. That’s why Jesus prefers the image of workers in a vineyard. The landowner has expectations of you Jordan.

But your parents know that what is best for you is to spend your earliest days here in the vineyard. Learn your way around the landowner’s estate. It’s going to be a long work day and you have the jump on the other workers. You can come to know what its like to live in this generous landowners care even as you learn to read and write.

Sure, the late arrivals will think they have gotten away with something. They’ll think that life away from the vineyard was fun. They may feel they cheated the landowner by sliding in to work at the close of the day. Those one-time ne’er do wells won’t know what it was like to spend your whole life in the landowners care. They may be tempted to think they got the best of both worlds.

You, Jordan, will come to know better. The rest of the world offers plenty of landowners, but none who will lavish attention on you like the Lord of this vineyard. The pay at the end of the long day’s work is extra. A life lived in the vineyard is its own reward.

Let’s ignore child labor laws and get you signed up for work in the vineyard now, Jordan, while the early morning light is still glistening on the dew covered grapes.
The full text of the sermon is online here: One Long Day in the Vineyard.

There is also the sermon in the archives Stingy Generosity.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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1 Comments:

  • At 9/21/2008 4:40 AM, Anonymous Mark said…

    Thanks for that interesting post!

    The following is a quote from:

    http://www.ssje.org/sermons/2007/050507cga.htm

    In the first Letter of Peter we read, "Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you." Prior to my coming to the monastery almost 21 years ago, I was a parish priest in the Diocese of Chicago. I was a Curate, and my Rector put this discipline to a daily practice. The Rector, Richard Lundberg (who is a member of the Fellowship of Saint John) and I would both be present for the weekday liturgies. Following the reading of the Gospel we would meet in the middle of the sanctuary and reverence the altar. In that split second while we were bowed, he would announce in a whisper which of us would preach that day. There we were, heads lowered, and he would whisper to me something like, “It’s mine” or he would say, “You’re on!” (Sometimes we playfully fought a little for just a second. I would say, “no way am I going to preach that” and he would say something like, “You want a paycheck this week?”) Anyway, that became our practice week-in and week-out. I initially found this incredibly intimidating, to have all of about three seconds to turn around and deliver a homily. But Father Lundberg’s practice was to always be ready to share the good news amidst so much bad news that people face in the course of a day. I would say this is a helpful practice for all of us: to be ready with a testimony to your faith in Jesus Christ, a testimony that would be cogent and credible to someone outside the church tradition… which is most everyone we meet these days on the street. No spiritual gobbledygook. If someone asks you today, in Harvard Square, why you are a follower of Jesus Christ, what’s the word, the authentic word in your heart and upon your lips? What is your testimony in real time? As we read a moment ago from the First Letter of John, "Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts."

    - Curtis Almquist, SSJE Monastery

    Ergo, to everyone who reads this page, I ask you:

    What is your account of the hope that is in you?

    Peace,

    Mark

     

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