Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sun. Oct. 5, 2014 (Veronica Dyck)

Dr. Veronica Dyck took us from a harvest of luscious wine and sweet grapes on an Okanagan winery tour to "A Harvest of Sour Grapes" in a series of lectionary texts.  In 8th-century BCE Judah, King Ahaz and his yeoman’s army faced the professional army of King Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria.  Isaiah used this invasion to deliver oracle after oracle, using images of food security (a bounty of grain, olives and grapes) to recall the people of Judah to justice under God’s hand.  In Isaiah 5:1-7, the image of a vineyard, carefully planted and lovingly tended, yields a harvest of rotten fruit.  In the last verses of the passage, the camera pulls back to reveal God the gardener, the people of Judah the bitter harvest, and the oracle of destruction was pronounced upon the vineyard for the sins of greed, seizure of land, and refusal to honour God’s covenant law. This juridical parable, like the one Nathan spoke to King David of the poor man’s lamb, condemned the rich and powerful in strong language. Veronica then turned to Matthew 21:33-46 in the passage of the owner of a vineyard and his tenants, to illustrate Jesus’ commitment to God’s justice was no less than Isaiah’s, and his language no less effective. In evading Pharisaical traps, Jesus used images of vineyards and harvests to turn the Torah’s old stories against them, reminding them that Judah’s fate under Assyria was also to be theirs under the Romans for their failure to honour the covenant of mercy and justice. Veronica then reminded us, with Psalm 80, that these intentionally-sung responses to the OT readings were meant to honour God with a changed heart, a transformed life, and that Bruggeman reminds us that though life is not pleasant even under God’s law, it is meant to be lived as it is, not as the pleasant lie we would wish it to be.  Our proper response is to allow God to transform our lives through his word, so that our fruit is not sour and true evangelical faith may be lived out in our lives. [AP]

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, October 5th, 2014 using your browser's preferred media player.



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