Today’s parable is so familiar to church-going Christians that it seldom receives a fresh hearing. Once you know the punchline, the story is just the vehicle for getting there. But if you park the punchline for a moment, other details have a chance to emerge.

The first is that the...

Dear Divine Landowner, help us do all our work as if we are doing it for you. Amen.


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Lectionary Week
September 18–24, 2023
Scripture Overview

The psalmist recounts many of God’s glorious deeds. The escape from Egypt features prominently, including the Exodus story we are reading this week. God knows that the people need food and provides both meat and bread. Unfortunately, the people do not have the perspective of the psalmist, so God’s miraculous provision does not stop their grumbling. In Philippians, Paul reflects on Christian suffering. Although he would rather be with the Lord, he endures suffering so that he may help others. Other believers should expect to suffer as well. Jesus tells a parable about a landowner. No matter what time the workers go out, they are all equally paid. Likewise, those who follow Jesus their entire lives and those who meet the Lord late in life will partake equally in glory.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Exodus 16:2-15. When have you been confident of God’s love and presence? When have you been uncertain?Read Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45. When do you smooth over the “bumps” in the stories of your family, your church, or your faith? When is it important to recount the complaining or mistakes along the way?Read Philippians 1:21-30. When has the “good news to the poor” challenged you? When you feel challenged by it, how do you seek to live “worthy of the gospel”?Read Matthew 20:1-16. How does Jesus’ idea of equality surprise you? How might a posture of generosity change your concept of fairness?

Respond by posting a prayer.