To dive deeper, join us for Bible Study on Tuesday at 10:30am or Wednesday at 6pm in Souers Community Hall. This week's worship service/sermon is also included below.
Yesterday Pastor Lynne preached on Matthew 20:1-16. The passage introduces us to a landowner who hires laborers to work in his vineyard. Throughout the day, he hires more workers at different times, even hiring some just an hour before the end of the workday. At the end of the day, the landowner pays all of the workers the same amount, regardless of how long they worked. This results in some of the workers who had worked all day being upset with the landowner for paying the others the same amount.
As Pastor Lynne mentioned, this parable has a few different interpretations. The most important point is that God's grace is available to everyone, regardless of their background or how long they have been Christians. It doesn't matter if someone has been a Christian their entire life or if they just became a Christian yesterday - they are all equally loved and valued by God.
Below are daily readings and activities to re-enforce this week's lesson. We hope you and your family will be blessed throughout this Second Week of Lent!
Scripture Reading: The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16)
In this parable, Jesus teaches us that God's grace is available to everyone, regardless of how long they have been a Christian. The landowner in the parable pays all of the workers the same amount, even those who only worked for an hour. This can be difficult to understand, but it shows us that God's love is not limited by time or status.
Activity: Plan a welcome party for new members of your church or small group. Emphasize that everyone is equally valued and loved by God, no matter how long they have been a part of the group.
Scripture Reading: The Workers' Complaint (Matthew 20:8-12)
In this part of the parable, the workers who had worked all day were upset that those who had worked for a shorter amount of time were paid the same amount. This can be a reminder to us that it's important to focus on our own relationship with God and not compare ourselves to others.
Activity: Have each person write down something they are grateful for and put it in a jar. Take turns reading them aloud and reflect on the unique blessings in each person's life.
Scripture Reading: The Landowner's Response (Matthew 20:13-15)
The landowner in the parable reminds the workers that he paid them what he had promised and that he has the right to be generous with his own money. This can be a reminder to us that God is generous with His grace and that it's not our place to judge who deserves it.
Activity: Perform random acts of kindness throughout the day. This can include paying for someone's coffee, leaving a note of encouragement for a stranger, or donating to a charity. Emphasize that these acts are not meant to earn God's grace, but rather to show His love to others.
Scripture Reading: The Last Will Be First (Matthew 20:16)
The parable ends with Jesus saying that the last will be first and the first will be last. This can be a reminder to us that God's kingdom operates differently than the world's standards, and that we should prioritize serving others rather than seeking status or recognition.
Activity: Serve others in a tangible way, such as volunteering at a food bank or homeless shelter.
Scripture Reading: The First Will Be Last (Matthew 19:30)
This verse is similar to the ending of the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, emphasizing that those who are last in this life may be first in the kingdom of heaven. It can be a reminder to us to prioritize our relationship with God over earthly success or status.
Activity: Write down your top three priorities in life. Reflect on whether these priorities align with God's priorities as revealed in scripture.
Scripture Reading: Jesus Predicts His Death (Matthew 20:17-19)
In this passage, Jesus predicts His own death and resurrection. This can be a reminder to us of the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for us and how it demonstrates God's ultimate grace and love for us.
Activity: Take some time to reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross. This can include reading through the crucifixion account in the gospels or spending time in prayer and meditation on the significance of His sacrifice.
Scripture Reading: The Request of James and John (Matthew 20:20-28)
In this passage, James and John ask Jesus to grant them places of honor in His kingdom. Jesus responds by teaching them that true greatness comes through serving others, just as He came to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.
Activity: Plan a service project as a group, such as cleaning up a local park or visiting a nursing home. Emphasize that this is an opportunity to demonstrate Christ's love and serve others selflessly, without seeking recognition or reward.
The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard teaches us about God's grace and the importance of focusing on our own relationship with Him, rather than comparing ourselves to others. Through the activities and scripture readings of this seven-day devotional, we can deepen our understanding of these important lessons and seek to live out Christ's call to serve others in humility and love. Many blessings on your week, and see you in church!