Luke 20:9 "He began to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time."
Babies are a wonderful gift of God. They are a symbol of life and hope, and a joy to the heart. Each one is precious, and we rejoice this day, that God has added Kenneth Allan to his family through Holy Baptism. In Baptism God has made Kenneth a child of God, has washed away his sins, and given him everlasting life. We find great hope in the promise, "He that beleieveth and is baptized shall be saved." However the way some people talk, faith in Christ is the end of live, and not the beginning. Some actually believe that once you have the gift of God in Jesus Christ, you can then live as you please, and do what you want. It seems that they forget that God has given all believers a commission, to make disciples of all nations, going, baptizing, teaching, God wants us to gather all people to himself, that they too may believe, be saved and make disciples.
It is to this end that we can speak of all the blessings that God has given, and will continue to give to us, as God giving us a vineyard to care for. Vineyards a great gifts, for it is a small farm that produces a rich crop. God supplies the vineyard with everything needed, and entrusts it to our care. Its still Godís vineyard, but we can live there as long as we are good tenants, good tenants are fruitful, and faithful. Good tenants remember that they are tenants, and when the harvest comes, they willingly and gladly give to the Lord all that is his due, after all there would have been no harvest for us, if God had not entrusted to us the care of his vineyard.
For this reason, it is necessary, that we teach well Godís Word to our young people. That they may fully know Godís Word and Godís Will; that they may rejoice if the gift of salvation, in the new life that is theirs in Christ. We teach our young people that they too may be disciples. We teach them to prepare them that they too may make disciples. And thus we see the point of the vineyard, for not only has God given us a work to do with our lives, but the work he has given us, is a work that will bring people to us. God brings people to us, that we might be a blessing to them, by telling them of the great good news of Jesus Christ. So it is that we speak of God blessing us that we might be a blessing to others, by bringing them to Christ.
And as important as it is, to faithfully teach our young people the nurture and care of the vineyard, and the grace of bringing people to our savior; it is also important that we warn them of the danger of pride. Pride that forgets that these blessings are not ours because we deserve them, nor is the vineyard ours because of our work. We teach our young people the law, so that they can see their sins and repent. And so we have our parable to teach our young people that there will be an accounting. It is not a pretty story to hear what will happen to the wicked tenants, but we must hear, and we must teach, so that we can warn of the dangers of pride, and teach that all the things we have, are not ours, but that we are stewards, and tenants, and that God is the owner, who has entrusted them to us, that we may be fruitful, make disciples, and so work with God to advance his kingdom. And as bad as the fate of the wicked tenants, so good is the grace of God, who has called us to be his tenants, and has put the vineyard into our hands, that we may be fruitful, have a good life, be a blessing to others as we bring them to Christ. And as we teach this, we also teach the way of repentance. For even though we are tenants in the vineyard, we are not always good tenants. We know that the good that we would, we do not, and the evil that we would not, that we do. We know that we daily sin much, and for our sins deserve nothing but punishment.
So we teach the way of repentance, so that seeing the evil we have done, we turn from evil, greed and selfishness, and return to God, asking not for what we deserve [for in truth the wages of sin is death] but asking for mercy and begging for forgiveness. So we teach of Jesus suffering and death, the price paid on account of our sins, and we do not stop there, but continue to teach of the forgiveness that was given to us from the cross. A forgiveness that washes away our sins, and makes us a new creation. A forgiveness that cleanses us from all evil, and gives us the peace of God. A forgiveness that restores us to the vineyards, we by our sins had lost. A forgiveness that God has given us, that we may share with others, that they to may repent, believe, be saved, and join with us in advancing Godís kingdom and making disciples of all nations.