122 East 88th Street
New York, NY 10128
The Bible Lessons:
Jonah 3:10–4:11, Psalm 145:1-8
Philippians 1:21-30, Matthew 20:1-16
Dear Members and Friends of Immanuel Lutheran Church,
In much of this Sunday’s sermon, I mean to speak of Jonah, from our First Lesson. But my opening text comes from our Gospel Lesson about the workers hired at various points during the day. Those who were hired first receive the same pay as those who were hired at the eleventh hour. They receive the pay they were promised. They receive it fair and square. But they complain about the latecomers receiving the same pay too. The master answers them by pointing out that he has done them no wrong since he has paid what he promised. And then the master asks them a question that searches their heart. It is a question about begrudging. The text goes this way:
Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?” (Matthew 20:15, RSV)
That is my subject for my sermon: begrudging. Let us not begrudge the blessings the Lord has given to others, lest we undercut our own hopes for blessings.
On another matter, I am pleased to report that I spoke with Rev. Dr. David Lotz earlier today and that he and Norma are fine. Pastor Lotz was longtime Pastoral Associate here at Immanuel. He and his wife, Norma, retired to Florida and were in the path of the recent Hurricane Irma. Many of us were praying for them, and it turns out that they are safe and sound, and their property came through the storm well. Thanks be to God.
Have a good weekend, everyone. I hope to see you in church. If you are traveling, God go with you in your travels.