Shepherds’ Notes

This next Saturday, January 20, is Men’s Leadership Day.  Additional details for the day are given on page 2 of this bulletin.  The elders want to encourage all our men at Walter Hill to make every effort to be present.  Moreover, fathers, please bring your teenage sons, and teenage sons, please have your dad come with you.

The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are behind us and now we can look forward to continuing doing the work the Lord has set out before us.  Today, Justin will be revealing the 2024 theme for Walter Hill.  The theme for 2023, Making Disciples, does not stop just because we have a new theme.  We should always endeavor to Make Disciples and the theme for 2024 will expand on that idea.

In Matthew 20:1-16, Jesus told the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard.  Jesus spoke this parable in light of Peter’s question in chapter 19, “What reward will we (the disciples) receive for following Jesus?”

One point Jesus conveyed in the parable is that we are not rewarded based on our works, but by the grace of God.  The laborers hired at the end of the workday received the same wages as the laborers hired at the beginning.  Our service to God should be one of gladness and willingness, not one of serving only to get a reward.

We will receive the reward God promises us if we obey His will, but our motives should be purer.

A second point in the parable is that it is tempting to compare ourselves with others.  The laborers hired early began to think they would receive greater wages since the last ones hired had received the wages of a full day’s work.  Much to their chagrin, they all received the same amount.

A final point in the parable is that it takes everyone working together to make a living and healthy church.  Had the new laborers not been hired later in the day, the work in the vineyard would have remained unfinished.  Whether you are new to Walter Hill or have been here for several decades, whether you are young or old, male or female, it takes all of us to make Walter Hill the church God wants it to be.

May God bless Walter Hill.