The Rev. William Klock: “It’s Not Fair; It’s Grace” (Matthew 20:1-16)
This being Septuagesima Sunday, here is a sermon from Fr. Bill Klock of Living Word REC for the occasion which is titled It’s Not Fair; It’s Grace. It is based on the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, and Fr. Bill writes:
We see grace in this scene Jesus paints for us. While the workers he called first are busy labouring and sweating under the hot sun, Jesus returns over and over to the marketplace to find more workers who need to provide for their families. Jesus even goes back and hires the ones no one would take—the lazy ones, the dimwits, the clumsy ones, the ones who never seemed to be able to do the job right. Jesus rounds them up, even if it’s late in the day, puts them to work and out of his abounding generosity, he gives them a full day’s pay.
You see, the grace isn’t about wages. God doesn’t negotiate employment contracts with his people. God calls us into covenant with himself. And in that covenant he promises his everything to us, and in return the covenant demands we give our everything back to him. If that sounds like a hard bargain we need to remember that when we say that God gave his everything for us what we mean is that in Jesus God—the almighty Creator of the cosmos—humbled himself to take on our form and humbly died the death we deserve—for us. That’s grace. That’s unmerited favour.
And, Brothers and Sisters, the only response is gratitude—gratitude for having been given a full measure of grace ourselves and gratitude for the overflowing and abundant generosity of God that he not only shows us grace, but that he shows the same abounding grace to others. Rather than resenting those who came at the last hour and were given grace, rather than resenting that God would call the lazy and the dimwits and the ne’er-do-wells and reward them just as he has us, all of this should move us to praise and to celebrate a God who is so good. And consider after all, no matter how long you yourself have laboured under the hot sun for the Lord, there will always be someone who has laboured longer and there will always be someone who has labour better and who is overjoyed that our Lord has chosen to be generous in pouring his grace on you—knowing that not one of us has been given what we truly deserve, but through Jesus have been show grace—umerited favour—in overflowing abundance. This is what the kingdom of heaven is like.
If you’d like to listen to this message you can do so either here or immediately below.