Proper 22 (27), Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
October 2, 2011: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20; Psalm 19 ;Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:7-15; Philippians 3:4b-14; Matthew 21:33-46
Psalm 19:7-13: To the leader. A Psalm of David.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the decrees of the LORD are sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring for ever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Matthew 21:33-46: “Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34 When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35 But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” 39 So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ 41 They said to him, ‘He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.’
42 Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing and it is amazing in our eyes”? 43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44 The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.’
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46 They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.
Proper 22 (27), Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost Comment: “The law of the LORD is perfect…” If there is any truth to this text, then it also teaches that God who gave the law is perfect. So when we choose not to follow the law as a guide for ‘perfect’ relationship with God and others are we saying that we can improve on perfect? Do we then, like the Pharisees and Scribes, the teachers of the law, also miss the benefit, the inheritance this verse offers, ‘reviving the soul’?
“…the ordinances of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.”
© September 30, 2011