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Is God Fair?

Theme: The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard - Proper 20 (25) Yr. A
Object: Give the children a blank card on which to write "It isn't fair when__________________."
Scripture: "But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?' Matthew 20:13-15 (NIV)

"It's not fair!" Have you ever said those words? Be honest, now! Maybe your brother or sister was invited to go to the movies with a friend and you weren't invited. What was the your reaction? "That's not fair! Why can't I go too?"

Perhaps you came home from school looking forward to watching your favorite show on TV and your mom says, "You can't watch TV until you have finished your homework."

"Aw mom, that's not fair! By the time I finish my homework my favorite show will be over!"

When we say, "It's not fair!" it usually means that something is not going our way or we want something that someone else has. I have a blank card for each of you. I want you to take the card and write on it, "It's not fair when" and then write something that has happened to you that you didn't think was fair.

In our Bible lesson today, Jesus told a story about a landowner who was hiring men to work in his vineyard. He hired some of them early in the morning, some in the middle of the day, and some he hired just before quitting time.

When it was time to pay the workers, he paid them all the same. Can you guess what the workers who were hired early in the morning said? Your right, they cried out, "Hey! That's not fair! You paid the workers who worked only one hour the same as those of us who worked all day."

The owner of the vineyard said, "I am not being unfair to you. I paid you what I agreed to pay you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Are you jealous because I am generous?"

The question for today is this: "Is God fair?" Of course he is! But do you know what else? The Bible tells us that he is more than fair, the Bible tells us that "God is love." Does God love us because we love him?" No, the Bible says, "This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." Wow! That's not fair—that's love.

If we got what was fair, none of us would get to heaven. I'm glad that God doesn't give me what is fair, but gives me his love and grace, in spite of what I deserve!

Father, we thank you for loving us so much that you sent your Son to give us everlasting life. In his name we pray. Amen.

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Alternate sermon for Matthew 20:1-16: "That's Not Fair!"
Alternate sermon based on Exodus 16:2-15 "What Is It?"
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