God expects sweet grapes from you!
God’s kingdom here on earth looks something like a vineyard, Jesus says. God plants good vines, and he expects sweet, juicy grapes to grow. But it’s so easy for us to grow nasty, yucky grapes instead!
Lots of vineyards grew in Jesus’ time, and Jesus used vineyard imagery a lot to get his points across. In today’s story, Jesus recalls an image people would have remembered from the old prophet Isaiah. In that story, Isaiah compares God to a landowner, and God’s people to the vineyard this landowner plants. Despite planting “choice vines,” the vineyard yields “wild grapes.” (This variety grows small, dry, acidic grapes unsuitable for wine). So the landowner allows outsiders to break down the vineyard walls, trample the vines and lay the field to waste.
“My beloved had a vineyard.” – Isaiah 5:1
By the way, Isaiah’s story has the vineyard deserving its destruction: God’s people had grown corrupt. People took bribes in exchange for false testimony in court, freeing the guilty and convicting the innocent. Wealthy folks took land and houses from the poor. People partied from the time they got up in the morning. And they “forgot the deeds of the Lord” on their behalf. (Read it in Isaiah.)
So Jesus comes along, and he makes this same comparison to the religious leaders of his own time. Ouch!
Our job: Consider how Jesus’ message applies to us, today.
So, don’t grow rotten grapes! At PEACE Lutheran Church, we invite you to work hard with us as we cultivate the vineyard of God’s Kingdom in our hearts each Sunday. Check us out at one of today’s worship services – 8:30 and 11 a.m. at 828 W. Main St., near downtown Grass Valley. Then, allow us to support you all week long as we work together to bring the Kingdom into reality.
At PEACE today
Today’s Bible readings: Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:7-15; Philippians 3:4b-14; Matthew 21:33-46. Read them here.
The Rev. Eileen Smith Le Van preaches today.
Your spiritual growth
Fall is a time of harvest. In the Church, we see it also as a season of spiritual harvest. So in these weeks after celebrating Pentecost – when God sent his Holy Spirit to Jesus’ followers – we reflect on what our Bible stories tell us about spiritual fruit. How do we live ever more closely with God? How do we bring other closer to feeling God’s spirit in their lives? Learn more about this Time After Pentecost.
Coming up at PEACE
- “Phantom of the Opera” – 4 p.m. TODAY, in the Sanctuary. FREE! Experience silent film the way it was meant to be – with live musical accompaniment! Organist Walt Strony on the organ; Thomas Greathouse on the piano & soprano Anne Vaaler perform during the opera scenes. We’ll show the 1929 edited & colorized version of the Lon Chaney classic. It’s a fundraiser for the Peace Organ Campaign.
- Monday Bible Study – Meet from 1:15-2:30 p.m. Mondays in the Meeting Room with Pastor Eileen. Readings from the book of Acts.
- Contemplative Prayer – We gather at 12:30-1 p.m. Wednesdays in the Conference Room by the Office. Experience deep peace and connection to the Divine in this 30-minute period of silence. Hear the “still, small voice” – really! Conducted by Pastor Eileen.
- “End of Life: Falls prevention & insurance” – 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 – The Contemporary Issues Study Group takes up End of Life concerns. Geared toward people in the early stages of retirement, seniors and adult children of seniors.
- Harvest Pie Sale – Between worship services on Sunday, Oct. 15. Homemade pies for sale, hosted by PEACE Lutheran Church Women.
- Blessing of the Animals – 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 – Bring your cats, dogs and farm animals for this observation of the Feast of Francis of Assisi. St. Francis believed all of Nature mirrors the Divine.
- More events – Check out our online calendar for more events at PEACE.
Office Hours – 9am-12pm & 12:30-3:30pm Monday through Friday.
Adult Bible Study
Today’s Bible Study explores “Advocacy as Discipleship.”
Advocacy – It can be a controversial topic among Lutherans! Today we discuss the Lutheran Office for Public Policy of the ELCA. Why advocacy? “As the ELCA, we believe God calls us into the world to serve together. Through our direct service, we aid immediate needs before us. Through our advocacy work, we impact systemic, long-lasting change.”
The Adult Forum meets in the Old Fellowship Hall at 10 a.m., led by Pastor Eileen. Stop in the Fellowship Center around the corner to pick up coffee & baked goods!
We celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in October. To prepare, we prove that studying Luther’s Small Catechism can be fun. (Seriously!) Our curriculum this fall includes stories about Martin Luther, told through the eyes of his children. Also, looking at the Small Catechism teachings on the 10 Commandments.
Youth @ PEACE is our all-ages Bible study, where young disciples learn the core stories of our faith and what it means to walk the Jesus Path. We welcome all who yearn to learn more about our loving, gracious Creator.
Memory verse this week: “The Lord of Hosts is exalted by justice.” – Isaiah 5:16
Bible memory verses: Kids can earn Bible Bucks for verses they memorize and redeem them for cool prizes! Our goal is for young people to bring God’s word deep into their hearts, supporting a lifetime of faith.
We have a special program for the tiniest disciples. God invites ALL children, so bring your babies and squirmy tots for this fun program! We’ll start at 9:45 a.m. with music downstairs in the Youth Room with the older children. Then, our youngest Followers of Jesus head upstairs to the Nursery for an age-appropriate lesson.
We encourage parents to stay – you are your child’s most important teacher!
Get Involved at PEACE!
Get to know people at PEACE Lutheran Church who are having way too much fun.
Learn about volunteer opportunities serving western Nevada County.