The Workers in the Vineyard

Watch on YouTube/read the Bible story online

Matthew 20: 1-16


This story can sound strange to us because it seems unfair. The owner (the word is actually the same word as “lord”) treats people equally whatever they deserve or have earned.

It comes between two stories which also have the first last and the last first: a rich man who was upset because Jesus told him to sell what he owned, and the mother of James and John asking for them to have the best seats in Jesus’s kingdom. Today’s story is a parable: it’s not really about how we pay people for their work. It’s more about status and discipleship. God’s gifts are for all, not just those who think they deserve it. The last workers are the ones no one else wanted to hire, but this owner is prepared to, giving them dignity and a purpose. Maybe this is a warning to disciples who thought they would be first in the kingdom.

The workers would have needed the day’s wage to feed their families, so paying the last ones less would have been no use to them. Maybe there is something here about how we pay people after all!


Icebreaker/quickbuild  Make an object – we will tell you what you have to create and give you five minutes to work on it!
Story/home Make your way into church. We will read the first prayer (laminated sheets) and listen to the story.

Refreshments are served!
/vineyard You have 20 minutes or so to build something in response to the story, either on your own, or team up with others.  Some ideas:
·         Build a vineyard (a farm of vines)
·         Build a puzzle – three paths or tunnels that each have the same prize at the end, but some of the paths are easier/shorter than others
·         What if the prize is a view of something beautiful? Create a garden or an aquarium. Is it still unfair if this is the prize?
If you don’t fancy building you can go back to the home village (/home) and read the story again in the church, or read some of the other stories in the library, or you might want to just explore the world, or work on your house.
WonderWhile you are creating, think about these questions with the adults on your table.
I Wonder: 
·         which part of this story you like the best?
·         what part is the most important?
·         where you are in this story or what part of the story is about you?
·         if there is any part of this story we can leave out and still have all the story we need?
There are many other things that can make us WONDER – what are you thinking about?
Final Prayer/home Back to the church for our final prayer (laminated sheet)
Dance/home We’ll put some music on and let your Minecraft characters dance about using jumping or emotes!
GamesFree play while the adults tidy up!!