16th Sunday after Pentecost: 24 Sep – Matthew 20:1-16 ~ last now / first then

16th Sunday after Pentecost

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening Prayer

God most high, your ways are not our ways, for your kindness is lavished equally upon all. Teach us to welcome your mercy toward others, even as we hope to receive mercy ourselves. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.

“Sing to the King” – AGCChurch


Reading: Matthew 20:1-16 (NLT)

Parable of the Vineyard Workers

“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work.

“At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. So they went to work in the vineyard. At noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.

“At five o’clock that afternoon he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’

“They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’

“The landowner told them, ‘Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.’

“That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’

“He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?’

“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

Intercessory Prayer

Sovereign Lord: You are close to all who call on you, to all who seek your mercy and grace. Hear us now, as we pray –

+ For every follower of Jesus, that we may appreciate your goodness and generosity…. Lord, hear us.
+ For every tribe and nation on earth, that our leaders may deal with each other peacefully…. Lord, hear us.
+ For our communities, that we may be as generous to others as you are with us…. Lord, hear us.
+ For workers and those who employ others, that the rights of all may be respected…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who cannot find work, that their needs may not be forgotten…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all of our family members, that we may deal with each other with patience and forbearance…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who gone before us in faith, that the Lord’s generosity may assure us of their place in the kingdom…. Lord, hear us.

God of kindness and compassion: You are close to all who call upon you; hear our prayers, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

“May The Presence of the Lord Go With You” – Praise And Harmony Singers


Concluding Prayer – Psalm 107:1-2 (NLT)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!