Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pentecost 21

Readings: Isaiah 5:1-7, Philippians 3:4b-14 (primary sermon text), and Matthew 21:33-46.

Sour grapes are what we end up acting like when we don't measure up to the Epistle's runner metaphor. The vineyard's owner is responsible for righting these things. God, the Owner of our souls, expected good fruit from His superbly-tended vineyard. What a sad "song of the vineyard" the OT reading turned out to be. It's even sadder when we realize that WE, too, are lazy, indifferent vines to blame for sour fruit. Therefore we should take to heart the awful law of God proclaimed in the text.

Yet we should also listen to the Gospel reading - a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. Isaiah had been one of the servants sent to the vineyard. Finally, the Son - God's last appeal - was sent. Even though He is worthy of all respect and praise, He was shunned, crucified, and buried. But listen further - how was this turn of events "marvelous in our eyes"? Why did Jesus come to a willfully deaf world? Answer: He loves you and wanted to redeem you from sins that kill. The holy Son of God means forgiveness for us.

Therefore Paul says to "forget what lies behind" - sour grapes - and receive forgiveness from a God who remembers your sin no more.

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