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Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?' So the last will be first, and the first will be last.  Mt. 20:15-16

 

 Sermon Excerpt: Amazing Grace- or is it? Matthew 20:1-16 by Rev. Frank Schaefer


Today is all about God's grace and we think as Christians that it is pretty amazing not least because of the song Amazing Grace right? But is it really that amazing? That's our question today.

Let me start off by saying when I worked in Lebanon, PA at a mental hospital I ran into a woman who who told me during a service I was conducting there where I announced that we're gonna do Amazing Grace, because everybody knows that song. She said: you know we sing that here a lot, Amazing Grace, and after a while it's not that amazing anymore.”

So that's what I want to start with today, the question whether God's grace is not that amazing to begin with. Jesus started his parable off by saying the kingdom of heaven is like....

What would you fill in that into that blank? What would you say the kingdom of heaven is like? A beautiful sunset? A strong castle? A sandy beach?

But, to our surprise, Jesus likens the kingdom of God to a land owner a land owner’s operation. This land owner goes out early in the morning-mind you this land owner does his own managerial work- he goes out at six o'clock in the morning and goes to the labor market and hires ten day laborers....Sometimes it helps us understand a parable better, if we take different perspectives.
Let’s indulge in that, shall we?

Let’s take the perspective of the early workers. So, obviously, these people worked hard all day they, labored hard. They feel like they deserve better; they feel unappreciated...

I think that kind of attitude is what’s wrong with the world today. It’s a human tragedy that we always look at those who have more and compare ourselves to them and and feel entitled to the same kind of blessing that they have, the same kind of income the same kind of wealth.

And if we are fortunate in life and we get there one day, we look to like those who have even more and compare ourselves to them. Instead we should be looking to those who are less fortunate and have less than us and we should be trying to figure out how we can help them. Now that's what Jesus would do! No, that's what Jesus did do; he led by example.

This attitude of feeling entitled, this attitude of greed is responsible for at least half of the world’s trouble. If we could only adjust our attitude and look to those who have less than us; if we could only have our hearts moved with love and compassion for them and help them out, I feel this world would be a much better place....
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