Today is the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity. The reading from Matthew’s Gospel continues the confrontation between Jesus and the chief priests and elders of the people that followed from Jesus’ actions on Palm Sunday and his removal of the money changers from the temple. In this passage Matthew is also anticipating the significance of the crucifixion and he does so through the parable of the vineyard. Through the imagery of the Old Testament, the vineyard had become an established symbol for God’s people. This parable spells out how the tenants had killed the owner’s son. Then it invites the listeners to pass judgement on the tenants in the story. In so doing the listeners pass judgement on themselves. God will entrust the vineyard to others.
For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of vineyards. In today’s picture from his book, The Song, Teddy Horsley is exploring what it might be like to plant a vineyard in his own garden and to be responsible for its cultivation.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you call us to work in your vineyard.
Make us worthy of our calling,
that we may grow good fruit for you;
now and always.
Next Sunday is the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity. In the Gospel reading Matthew is still
preparing his readers for Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, and for an interpretation of the
momentous event. He does so through the parable of the invitations to the wedding feast.
The image to help prepare for this theme is party invitation. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the Educational Resources and the Preparation Resources.
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