CHILDREN'S MOMENT ON THE PARABLE OF THE WORKERS AND THE VINEYARD - FR. JOSEPH ALSAY, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
A Children’s Message
The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Okay friends, for our Children’s Moment today I have a treat for you. How many of you like candy? "So, there's one for you, one for you, one for you, two for you and one for you. Here are three for you, one for you, one for you, two for you, one for you and three for you."
Did you notice that I gave some people one treat, others received two, and some even got three treats? Now I can imagine that some of you were thinking to yourself, "That isn't fair! Is that fair? I mean, I gave some of you three treats and others only got one!" Well, maybe it wasn't fair, but they were my treats -- don't I have the right to give them to whomever I please?
Jesus told a story about a landowner who was hiring men to work in his vineyard. He hired some of them early in the morning, some in the middle of the day, and some he hired just before quitting time.
When it was time to pay the workers, he paid them all the same. The workers who were hired early in the morning began to complain, "Hey! That's not fair! You paid the workers who worked only one hour the same as those of us who worked all day."
The owner of the vineyard said, "I am not being unfair to you. I paid you what I agreed to pay you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Are you jealous because I am generous?"
What is the point of the story that Jesus told? The point is that there are some people who trust in Jesus and work in the church and serve him all the days of their life. What is their reward? Their reward is eternal life in heaven.
There are other people who never work in the church. In fact, there are some people who come to church late. They don't serve the Lord until the very end. What is their reward? Their reward is the same as one who has served the Lord all their life -- eternal life in heaven. I’m not saying on this “Ministry Fair Sunday” not to work in the church. We need everyone to be active in the church.
But it matters not, if you’ve been working in the church for many years or never do. The ground around the cross is level. There are no big “I” or little “you.” God’s love, grace and goodness extends to all.
~ Fr. Joseph Alsay, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church