October 5, 2014

As usual, today’s first and third scripture readings are obviously related, with the second continuing one of Paul’s Letters—these days, the Letter to the Philippians. The vineyard stories from Isaiah and Matthew both talk about evildoers coming to a bad end.

In Isaiah, it’s the vineyard itself that produces “wild grapes” instead of the crop the owner dreamed of and worked for. So it will be “trampled” and “overgrown with thorns.” In Matthew, those to whom the owner leased the vineyard destroy the dream. So the owner “will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants” (Matthew 21:41).

Yes, if we reject divine love we come to a bad end. And with all this talk of the unfaithful being trampled and thrown out, it’s consoling to hear Paul’s message to the Philippians, who were by no means perfect. “Have no anxiety at all,” Paul said. “Then the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:6, 9).

 

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