Critical reviews (by Lutheran pastors and church musicians) of books and other resources for Christian worship, preaching, and church music from a perspective rooted in Holy Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and good common sense. LHP Quarterly Book Review asks, "Is it worth the money to buy, the time to read, the shelf space to store, and the effort to teach?"
Feed: Confessional Gadfly Posted on: Monday, January 30, 2012 8:20 AM Author: Rev. Eric J Brown Subject: Some Thoughts on Matthew 20:1-16
As I was pondering Matthew 20 - the parable of the workers in the fields, I had a thought. So often we think of this parable in terms of *what age* a person is brought to faith - that some are of the faith their entire lives and that some are late converts.
Now I wonder. Consider the complaint of the early workers - "And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.'"
I have been a Baptized member of Christ's church since I was an infant. There is not a time that I can remember where I was not a Christian.
Yet - what burden of the day have I borne? What scorching heat have I faced? I am an American. Even as I might complain about being underpaid -- I am wealthy. If I complain about difficulties - I've never had my life threatened for the sake of the Gospel. Having people complain about how they don't like how my sermons do or don't do ______ is hardly "scorching".
I wonder if it isn't hubris and pride that make us in America think that we are the hard workers, that we have been long laboring for Christ. I hear what happens to our brothers and sisters in Africa, in Asia - those who literally have to face down tangible threats of persecution... they are the ones who have faced the heat, not I. And it is a sign of great generosity on God's behalf that I am promised the same forgiveness of sins and salvation and life as they are, even though I am wealthy and comfortable in a way they could not comprehend.