Sunday 12/18/11 Pastor Michaelís sermon: Divine Reversal= Better Late Than Never
Losing a job affects people financially and emotionally. Psychological effects such as depression, feelings of worthlessness, anxiety and worry. Drug and alcohol abuse is associated with job loss and depression.
Jesus is talking about unemployment and day laborers in this parable. Day laborers stood around hoping to be hired. Most were hired at the first watch, early in the morning at 6 am. The employers did this to get the most time out of the workers. Jesus wants to show us how God operates differently than the world. He shows that the last shall be the first and blessed for just showing up.
The landowner is hiring three types of folk.
1) The Forgotten Folk vs. 3
They showed up late for the first watch and couldnít be hired. The did not deserve to be hired because they were late but the land owner hired they anyway. This is how God blesses us anyway because he wants to bless us. People who made mistakes, did things they shouldnít have, God is still hiring. Itís better to be late than never.! We are glad to be invited at all. Late folk know they shouldnít be hired or invited in . They are grateful! Grace is God giving us stuff that we donít deserve!
These folk were not concerned about who saw them come late. They were grateful to have the job and didnít have the time to be picking and poking at other folkís business. They were glad to be working. It was an act of grace that the owner hired them because he couldnít get a full days work out of them anyway. The land owner just wanted to help them. God wants to help us -the forgotten and late.
2) The Feeble folk vs. 5
Most of the day was behind them and its 12:00 noon. They are hot and sweaty. They are feeble, dejected, sad and beaten down. Yet the owner decides to hire them anyway. All the mess we did , all the drugs, partying we did, God hires us and blesses us anyway. They were turned down by other landowner, s rejected by other folk. These people are faint and rejected everyplace they have gone. The world has used them up and spit them out! Yet the just landowner hired them anyway. Some of us were in this category when God took hold of us. Thatís why some of us have a dance in church when the music is not playing.
3) The Faint Folk vs. 6
These are the eleventh hour folk. They was only one hour left of the work day and the land owner hired them anyway. Theses people were just stuck! They had been out there all day, didnít expect to be hired and had no money to take home. These people have things go wrong, everything going wrong at the same time. They have been standing all day long looking for a job and have given up. The land owner, God hired them at the 11th hour.
Wage payment time
The people that started work early in the morning thought they would get paid first. Instead, the land owner paid the last hired first. He went to the back of the line and paid the ones who worked only one hour first. He paid them all the same wages. The brother who worked one hour looked at his pay and knew he didnít deserve it but said thank God!!
The early workers got an attitudes cause they worked all day long and didnít get paid more. This is like church folk who have been in the church a long time, getting an attitude about newcomers getting blessed before them.
We all know that we didnít deserve it but God gave us blessings-
His GRACE! Thank God for His Grace!
Jesus said the first shall be last and the last shall be first!!