5th Week of Lent
Prayer of the Week
(pray this prayer each day this week. Adapted from Psalm 108)
I exalt you with all that I am. I do not forget how you have been kind to me… forgiven me… healed me… redeemed me… and crowned me with your love and mercy. Such extravagance! You are slow to anger and you abound with steadfast love. You don’t treat me as I deserve but instead treat me with kindness and generosity. You promise me your enduring love and presence. You ask for me commitment to your will and your ways. Even though I am imperfect… even though my life passes quickly… your perfection and eternal life and love and rule and reign establish you as Lord over all creation. I am blessed to be yours. I exalt you with all that I am. This week, help to simply, but deeply and powerfully, remember your love and grace and how you have dealt kindly with me. Rekindle the fire of my heart to exalt you in all I do and commit my life to your will and ways. In Jesus name I pray. Amen
Read Matthew 20:1-16
Week 5: Questions for Reflection
Human nature is funny sometimes. Often it seems that we don’t get concerned enough when a fellow human being is suffering oppression and injustice and being treated unfairly. But, on the other hand… we seem to get all too concerned when we feel someone is being treated better than we are… even when the treatment is an underserved and gracious gift! We may grumble to ourselves “well, why didn’t I get such a nice gift”. That’s the case in the parable of the vineyard workers. Jesus tells of a landowner who pays the same fair wage to all the workers… even the ones that show up at the end of the workday. Instead of being thankful for a fair day’s wage… the all-day workers became mad at the landowner’s generosity. Yet another example of God’s unmerited favor for the least and the last.
How much does it bother you when someone else is treated with injustice? Enough to move you to action? How?
How much does it bother you when someone else is treated with extravagant generosity? Does it make you resentful?
Are you grateful? Do you rejoice in how God has been extravagantly generous to you? In what ways can you ‘count your blessings’?
Action for the Week
Practice gratitude. Remember daily (even hourly) the blessings that God has showered upon your life. Let that sense of gratitude control your mood this week.