The Vineyard Should Be Bearing Fruit
5th Sunday of Lent
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
April 3, 2022
Readings: Isaiah 43:16-21
We are nearing the completion of the season of Lent and we are to restructure our lives after having evaluated and having been challenged to change our ways. Scripture says that the Lord is the Bread of Life and yet do we give importance to this truth as we have given so much importance on other things like, the internet, education, finances and other matters that take away our focus from God? He has given us joy, peace and strength. These are the ingredients of life. Do we think of the high price He has paid for us? Do we sense this at all? Is this part of our belief system? The flesh does not control us. The Spirit should be the one to control us. When we go to church, we should listen to Him.
The Parable today was meant for the scribes and the Pharisees. But do you realize that the Lord is actually speaking to the church today? Are we any different from the Pharisees who can memorize the law but do not follow God? We claim to know the Word and yet do not follow God’s ways. Too many times we think we can do things our own way. When we do not pay attention to God, this is poverty in thinking. God is the one who has set the temple in order, but the Pharisees have taken it as their own, and even added more rules and commandments to make people’s lives miserable.
The Parable of the Tenants in the Vineyard uses the subject of agriculture to let people understand its meaning. The story goes that there was a man who planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. At harvest time, he sent a servant to check on the progress of the tenants so that they would give him some of the produce from the vineyard. But the tenants beat the servant and sent him away empty-handed. Then he sent a second servant and a third, and both met the same fate. They were also beaten by the tenants and were sent away empty-handed. Finally, the landlord thought of sending his own son, whom he loved and thinking, this time they will respect him. But the tenants killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner do? He will deal with the tenants and get rid of them. He will give the vineyard to others. As the church, are we bearing fruit? Or have we taken the things of God and built our own kingdoms? God is the Master. He is the one who sets the course. When we look at the parable, we see God speaking to the people who were controlling things. Who were the people who were responsible for the killing of Christ? It was the Pharisees. The killing of the servants was a progression of sin. One after the other. The Lord said in Luke 20:17 “The stone the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.” After the truth was revealed, the teachers of the law and the chief priests got angry because they knew that the parable was directed at them. They were guilty. Their conscience was bothering them.
Ephesians 2:19-20 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone.”
Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
God alone is worthy of our praise. Not the different churches and different religions. God should get the glory and the thanksgiving He deserves. We should follow what God tells us to do and He will do His part. He has given more than enough for us to share with others.
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