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Worship Sheet for Sunday 20 September – Earnings and Blessing
Matthew 20 records the Parable of the Labourers where the master pays those who work only for a few hours the same day rate prompting some complaint. Injustice is part of life but God is more interested in blessing and grace than our focus on earnings and rights. I suggest some pointers.

Call: So much in life seems to be a race to get ahead, Lord you often turn things upside down so that the first become last; So much seems to be about what we can get; Lord you are more interested in what we give; So much is about what we think we deserve; Lord, thank you for your blessing often undeserved.

Mini Service
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Pray Lord, we can become worked about injustice but often when we are being treated unfairly. We can be resolutely unaware of inequality in the world, even in our neighbourhood. We are quick to defend our rights, often slower to stick up for other’s rights. Remind us that you don’t treat us according to our deserving, but according to your love. You look at us in Jesus and accept us as your children in him. Help us to be wary of priding ourselves on our achievements and more eager to embrace your grace and love in our Saviour. It is a privilege to gather once again to worship, albeit in restricted numbers and with many constraints. As we begin the road to “normal” services, whatever they will be, remind us that we are bound together in Jesus wherever we are, whatever the restrictions. Show us that more of our worship is how we live out our daily lives – not only as we pray but as we live pointing to Jesus. Equip us to share your loving kindness, to bless rather than demand and to be effective signallers of his love to all we meet. Hear us as we pray his special prayer: Our Father…

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Matthew 20:1-16 Parable of the Labourers.
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Thought It all depends on your viewpoint. But does it? Young children seem to have a particularly keen sense of injustice – and aren’t afraid to point it out, even if is another youngster who is losing out and fixing the injustice might impact on them. But losing out on a few sweets is a small price to pay if it means that their friend doesn’t lost out altogether. Grown ups seem to focus much more on injustice that affects them, personally. We home in on our rights. Jesus tells the parable about day workers – and how some were hired well into the day, even just for an hour – and they were all paid the same to the chagrin of those who had worked a whole shift. Perhaps the Master was concerned to have as many people go home with a little money in their pocket – money without which their families might go hungry. We tend to get worked up about what we are due, what is ours by right; God is concerned to go beyond that and bless freely and undeservedly in Jesus. There is a place for fair employment practices but that isn’t what the parable is about. It is a reminder that before God we haven’t a leg to stand on, we can’t demand our deserts – for we have all sinned. But thankfully, God chooses to bless us with his undeserved favour and forgiveness. And he calls us to treat others similarly. It’s not earnings or rights that really matter – God is much more concerned to bless and so should we – and part of that will be trying to ensure that others are treated justly.

Praise: CH4 706 For the healing of the nations v1,2 & 4 Tune Rhuddlan 264.
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

Pray Heavenly Father, we are troubled. For the most part locally Montrose is faring pretty well and there have been signs that some degree of normality is returning but looking around churches things are far from normal and concerns nationally are mounting. True, things are far from where they were in the Spring but there is that nagging doubt and concern. How are we to cope if things go back the way? Give wisdom to those making decisions, resilience to those who continue to care in hospital, home and community, patience and common sense for all of us to heed the warnings and grace when things go wrong. Help us to help one another and to come together rather than point the finger. Remind us that everything good comes not because of our deserving but from your blessing. As many of us are flagging and under pressure give us the grace to hold our tongue, to make allowances and help us to stick up for those who are hard done by. Through it all may your people be seen to be loving and serving even if only few of us can darken the doors of the Church. In our prayer walk this week we remember The World Church. SILENCE
Lord hear our prayers spoken and unspoken and answer them for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen Blessing May the Lord bless you. Amen.