Jesus treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him
we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father. 19 That's plain enough, isn't it? You're no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You're no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He's using us all - irrespective of how we got here - in what he is building. 20 He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he's using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone 21 that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day - a holy temple built by God, 22 all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.
It does not matter if you arrived years ago or as recently as yesterday, the word “WE” applies to all of us. I am reminded of the landlord in Matthew 20 who paid all workers equally, whether they started early in the day or late in the afternoon. As Jesus tells this parable he is reminding us that God’s gift of love and forgiveness isn’t earned in the first place and is given to all freely.
That, I believe is what makes for joy! That is what sharing the love and forgiveness God gives us. That is what gives us the opportunity to reach out to others in need and for each of us to be cared for by others when we need help regardless of how different we feel. Our experiences are our own, and the household of God is big enough for all of us. None of us are outsiders. We come as children, teenagers, and adults, and we are all paid equally because we are equal servers in God’s household.
This is truly one of the many ways to describe our beloved parish church.
Thanks be to God!