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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, October 10, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Matthew 21:33–46

“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet. (NRSV)

So much commentary
So many interpretations
And at the end all I had
were questions

But my mind keeps getting caught
on stones
(that morning, missing

the press
the slave
the cornerstone


Stones our lives are built around—
to center
or accommodate—
stones Jesus would come to replace

What are our stones?
What do we stumble on?
What is crushing us?

What would it mean to have them replaced?

What can we do to make it so?

God of vision and revision, help me see what I stumble on, how I cause others to stumble. Guide me in my efforts to smooth the way, and may I always be open to new truth. Amen.

Written by Anne Ellis, Program Manager for Congregational Life

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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