Readings and Prayers: September 20th 2020

 

 

Woodfield Team prayer. God our Father, you long to draw all people into your love; increase in number your church   throughout the Woodfield Team, deepen us as followers and learners of Christ and give us courage to share the good news of your kingdom. We pray this in the power of your Spirit, to the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

  You can find audio services for Morning Prayer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEFLPLNh1hU&feature=youtu.be and for Communion at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbCTwpYGfrs&feature=youtu.be

There is material for families and children at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eHyny6zKE4&feature=youtu.be

The Collect.

Lord God, defend your Church from all false teaching

and give to your people knowledge of your truth,

that we may enjoy eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

The Gospel. Matthew 20: 1-16

‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

‘About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the market-place doing nothing. He told them, “You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went.

‘He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, “Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?”‘“Because no one has hired us,” they answered. ‘He said to them, “You also go and work in my vineyard.”

‘When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.”‘The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 “These who were hired last worked only one hour,” they said, “and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.”

13 ‘But he answered one of them, “I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?”16 ‘So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’

A suggestion:

  1. Read the passage slowly and prayerfully a couple of times. What word or phrase stands out for you?
  2. Does it feel unfair that the landowner rewarded all equally? Does it feel a relief or unfair that all are equal if we equate God with the landowner?
  3. Imagine you are one of the workers hired first. How do you react? Imagine you are one of those hired at the end of the day. How do you react?

Prayers for today:

  • For all those living with anxiety and illness at this time
  • That we might all turn to Jesus as an anchor in the storm
  • For an awareness of the grace of God at work even in these uncertain times
  • For those conducting Brexit negotiations: for wisdom and truth telling
  • For all scientists working on Covid vaccine and for the outworking of recent changes in rules about gatherings; for those with responsibility for ‘managing’ the pandemic
  • For a discovery of the way ahead that God has for his church, not exempt from the effects of economic downturn; for the ‘shaped by God together’ process initiated by Bishop Martyn
  • For those who suffer in body, mind or spirit. For the recently bereaved