TWENTIETH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST This is the day the LORD hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.  

Isa. 5:1-7 also Num. 27:12-23 Phil. 3:12-21 Matthew 21:33-43 Psalm 81:1-10      

The autumn harvest has begun. For the third week in a row, our gospel brings us to a vineyard. Jesus brings us to another parable where Jesus is challenging His challengers. What is going to happen to that vineyard and the people in it?      

Isaiah had sung a love song about a vineyard. The story Jesus tells is a variation upon Isaiah's song. In both, we hear of the abyss between the owner's lavish care for the vineyard and its horrific produce. In the song the produce is wild grapes; in the parable it is lawless people. In both accounts a vineyard owner expects to enjoy good fruit, but the mockery of his hopes and dreams calls forth his rage.      

Jesus' story takes us from vineyard-tending to building construction. The vineyard will be entrusted to new tenants. The stone rejected by one set of builders will become the cornerstone for a different crew. Jesus brings new meaning to Isaiah's vineyard song and to this stone psalm verse by connecting them to each other. Jesus tells us that the reign of God will be given to a people that produces good fruit. We must ask ourselves, What fruit do we produce from the vineyard God has given us?      

As we gather around the Word and meal that our God's gifts to us, we enter into new understandings of the parables, sons, and psalms. In unity with the Holy Spirit we become the body of Christ, growing in faith and love. Through God's grace we are joined to one another and unified in Christ, the true vine. In praise and honor of God's gracious invitation to love and to serve.  

Lord of the harvest, great and kind, Rouse to action heart and mind; Let the gathering nations all See Your light and heed Your call.    

PRAY with me;  O God, whose almighty power is made known chiefly in showing mercy and pity, grant us the fullness of Your grace that we may be partakers of Your heavenly treasures; through our LORD Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen