Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas Church - August 15, 2019
Carol+ will be away from August 19 until September 1. For any pastoral emergencies, please contact the Church Office at 908-996-4091.
The readings for this Sunday are challenging. From the prophet Isaiah we hear of a vineyard, lovingly planted and tended so that it would produce good grapes. But instead it produced wild grapes, unpleasing and sour. This was a bitter disappointment to the one who planted the vineyard. Isaiah ends with these words:
“For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah
are his pleasant planting;
he expected justice,
but saw bloodshed; righteousness,
but heard a cry! “ Isaiah 5:1-7
We might well ask ourselves how we are doing with God’s vineyard in our own time. Good grapes, or wild, grapes? Justice and righteousness, or cries?
The letter to the Hebrews offers help for our journey:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us also set aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith... “ (Hebrews 12:1,2)
We are indeed surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses: those faithful men and women who, in every generation loved and followed God throughout their earthly lives. They continue to inspire us and pray with us as we seek to follow Jesus in the race that is our own earthly life.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.