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Midweek Lent

My Song Is Love Unknown:  A Murderer They Save, the Prince of Life They Slay

Text: Luke 23:13-25

We can picture the emotionally charged scenes.  The images are burned into our minds from media coverage or from movies we have watched.  The defendant is on trial.  The judge is seated on his chair listening to the accusations the people are bringing forward.  Those accusing are adamantly and vehemently pursuing a guilty verdict and the death penalty.  The families of the victim are sitting nearby, wiping tears from their eyes.  Outside the courthouse are two groups of protestors.  One group is shouting for a guilty verdict and condemnation, the other shouting for an innocent verdict and justification.  It’s an emotional, passionate, sometimes ugly scene at a murder trial.

Think of the images you see and the emotions you have when you simply hear names like:  Timothy McVeigh (the Oklahoma City bomber), Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer.  Now what images do you see and what emotions do you have when you hear these names:  O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony.  Those are two that might have committed murder but were acquitted and set free. Read the rest of this entry

That’s Not Fair!

17th Sunday after Pentecost

That’s Not Fair!

Text: Matthew 20:1-16

I.

That’s Not Fair!  We’ve been slaving away all day long!  We started working at the break of dawn at 6:00 am.  We’ve put in over 10 hours of work.  We poured out sweat as the sun beat down on our bodies.  Our hands and our joints are aching from grueling work.  Our hands and our feet are stained with grape juice.  We did our job faithfully and dutifully.  We worked hard.  We smell like dirty tunics and we look like filthy pigs.  And you’re telling us that you’re going to pay them the same amount that you pay us?  That guy didn’t even start until 9:00am!  That guy started after lunch!  And that guy only worked one hour today!  You’re going to pay us all the same?  That’s Not Fair!

The outrage of the workers in Jesus’ parable is understandable.  Working a vineyard was no cake-job.  It was out in the scorching Middle Eastern sun.  It was tedious work.  It was tiring work.  It was slave work.  That’s likely why the landowner was hiring day laborers to do the work.  Read the rest of this entry