October 8: The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

The Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews is the vicar of St. Hilda St. Patrick. The sermon for October 8, 2023 was preached in response to Matthew 21:33-46 based on the notes below.

Just a few thoughts

about our texts today

since we’re learning quite a lot

in other ways!

  1. Thank you to visitors for being here! Not every story that Jesus tells, called a parable, is so violent! 
  2. In rebuking the religious leaders as Jesus does today, it’s important to remember that Jesus was a Jew and Matthew, recording Jesus’ words, was a Jew.
  3. Jesus shifts the meaning of the vineyard, about which we heard in Isaiah, from Israel itself to the whole of God’s reign. This text is not about Christianity or the Church replacing Judaism.
  4. Rather, Jesus is rebuking the scribe and pharisees for not seeing God’s new and ongoing action, primarily in the teaching and leading of John the Baptizer and of Jesus. 
  5. God is doing a new thing and Jesus wants them to see it. Paul bears witness to this in his letter today, being willing to give up everything of privilege to follow Jesus. He believes that God’s New Thing is Good News
  6. I hope we do, too. I hope that we believe that God is continuing to act and that the church and this congregation have Good News to share. Amen. 

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