Sunday, September 21, 2008

September 21, 2008 (Karl Brown)

Karl spoke on two of the morning's lectionary texts. Exodus 16 (and Numbers 11) tells of the wandering Jews being provided quails (blown off course while migrating) and manna, which tasted much like sweetened coriander seed. The passage from Matthew 20 gives the parable about vineyard workers each receiving the same day's wage even though some men worked all day and others only a partial day. Unfortunately, this puzzling parable is one for which we lack Jesus' explanation. Some people have suggested this is about last-minute conversions, others feel it describes a generous God. Both stories (Exodus and Matthew) conclude with people complaining, in spite of receiving good things. In Exodus, people complained about having the same thing to eat all the time (and not the garlic and spices they learned to love after being in Egypt for 20 generations). In the parable from Matthew, workers complained even though they had received work in the midst of a depressed labour market, and even though the wages paid were ostensibly fair for a full day's work. Karl suggested that we look at these two stories as illustrating God's gifts to us. Every meal, every penny, every minute of life is from God. Some people live long, some only a few years, but all are sustained by the same generous God. We, like the Jews in these ancient stories, may (and will) complain, but these stories remind us that God loves and sustains us. [JEK] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday Sept. 21st, 2008 using your browser's preferred media player.



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