CreatingCommunity is an email devotion to guide your preparation for worship next weekend. Imagine how much more clear and relevant God's Word will be if you have had an opportunity read, reflect, and dwell in the Word prior to worship. You may do this devotion alone, with others, as a family, or over Zoom as a small group.

This devotion is to be done in preparation for this coming weekend's worship.

Please follow these three steps:

1. Read through the text
2. Respond to the questions (select one of the sets of questions)
3. Offer a Prayer
Matthew 20:1-16
[Jesus said to the disciples:] “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, 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.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
No Experience Necessary Questions:
  1. What scares, confuses, or challenges me in this text?
  2. What delights me in this text?
  3. What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
  4. What is God up to in this text?
Family Questions:
  1. What is a parable? Why did Jesus speak in parables? What can you say in a parable that you cannot say in factual statement?
  2. Is this parable fair? What would make it fair? How does that change the parable?
  3. Parables often tell us about God. If God is the landowner, what does this parable tell us about God? Is that good news or bad news for you?
Advance Questions:
  1. Matthew narrates one of Jesus’ controversial parables in which the kingdom of God is compared to that of a landowner who pays his workers the same wage no matter what time of day they began to work. How is that like the kingdom of God?
  2. If God can be compared to this landowner, who might you be compared with in the parable? What does the parable have then to say to you?
  3. This parable challenges the common assumption that God rewards people according to what they have earned or deserve. It inspired Martin Luther to claim that in the presence of God’s mercy "we are all beggars". How would you express the message of the parable?
Click here to listen to this week's CreatingCommunity song
"Denarius Rap Song - Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard“.
Teach us Good Lord;
To serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek for rest;
To labor and to ask for no reward,
Save that of knowing we do your will.