God Pause for Friday, 10/3/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Friday, 10/3/2014 Reading: Matthew 21:33-46

The highly regarded Pharisees held prominent positions in their faith culture. Imagine the shock the Pharisees experienced when Jesus said to them, "the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces fruits of the kingdom." The entitled and self-righteous leaders were accused and found guilty by the Messiah. Their leadership was turned upside down; what they had always done and believed to be right was rejected.

Do you hear Jesus saying to the self-righteous and entitled church of our day, "the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces fruits of the kingdom?" Is it time for us to wonder about leadership, entitlement and engaging in God's work outside the walls of our building? Who are the workers in the kingdom? What outward attitudes and beliefs in us need to be transformed by Christ for the sake of God's work among us?

Loving Savior, give us courage to follow you in new and unexpected ways. Bring your church into partnership with your will for the world. Help us to look for and see what you are doing all around us; let it be amazing to our eyes. Amen.>

Julianne Barlow (Koivisto) Assistant to the Bishop for Mission, Synod of Alberta and the Territories, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada Calgary, Alberta Doctor of Ministry, 2012

Matthew 21:33-46 (NRSV)

33 "Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34 When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35 But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, "They will respect my son.' 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, "This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.' 39 So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" 41 They said to him, "He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time." 42 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is amazing in our eyes'? 43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44 The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls." 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46 They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

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