The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing.

He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; he keeps me alive.

He guides me in proper paths for the sake of his good name.

Psalm 23:1-3

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“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. After he agreed with the workers to pay them a denarion, he sent them into his vineyard.

“Then he went out around nine in the morning and saw others standing around the marketplace doing nothing. He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I’ll pay you whatever is right.’ And they went.

“Again around noon and then at three in the afternoon, he did the same thing. Around five in the afternoon he went and found others standing around, and he said to them, ‘Why are you just standing around here doing nothing all day long?’

“‘Because nobody has hired us,’ they replied.

“He responded, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’”

Matthew 20:1-7

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Every day as I am on my commute on the way to work, I pass by a certain corner where gathered under the shade are always a group of men waiting to be hired as day laborers. When I read this scripture passage, I always think of them. There are workers on that corner no matter how early I leave for work, like the workers in this passage. There are workers waiting no matter how late I leave for work, too, because no one has hired them.

I also think about the landowner. After all, this is whom Jesus is comparing to the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is like a landowner who goes out all day finding people who are looking for work and gives them work.

When you read this passage, it is worth asking yourself who you more easily identify with. Those of us from privileged backgrounds would probably more easily identify with the landowner, but those of us without privilege will more easily identify with the workers.

Emily Peck-McClain

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God who loves, counts, and values all, help me notice all people, especially those who wait. Give me your eyes and heart so that I can value them as you do. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

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Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me.

Your rod and your staff— they protect me.

You set a table for me right in front of my enemies.

You bathe my head in oil; my cup is so full it spills over!

Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house as long as I live.

Psalm 23:4-6

Emily Peck-McClain

Rev. Dr. Emily A. Peck-McClain is Visiting Professor of Christian Formation and Young Adult Ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. She is author of Arm in Arm with Adolescent Girls and a contributing editor to We Pray With Her and Speaking Truth. Emily lives in Maryland with her spouse, three kids, one dog, and infinite chaos, especially during the pandemic.

Amazing Grace

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