Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The owner of the Vineyard needed workers as late as the eleventh hour (five o’clock in the evening). It was harvest time and the rains were coming. So when He found these workers (older ones, perhaps bypassed earlier by recruiters?), he asked why they stood idle in the village square. They replied, “Because no one hired us.” He gave them work to do at the eleventh hour-for them and for Him!
The surprising story of the workers in the vineyard presents two ways of regarding our worth: grace and merit. The logic of merit views the world of work in everyday terms; we work and receive what we deserve for our labor. The logic of grace moves in a surprising way; it is all a gift of God.
This is a parable for retirement. Work for the kingdom of the Lord never ends in this life. We are needed, just as the owner of the vineyard needed the workers at the eleventh hour. Our Lord Jesus Christ comes to where we are standing in idleness or even despair, feeling that we are wasting our lives, and says, “I want you.”
My heart is filled with joy and gratitude for what Jesus has said to and has done for me in my entire life. Taking this opportunity, Sunhee and I want to express our deepest thanks to God, the people of God at Belvidere church, the community of Belvidere and the Greater NJ Annual Conference who allowed us to minister and serve through them. Effective of July 1st, 2016, I am retiring. The real question to me is not “What did I retire from?” but rather “What am I returning to?”
May our good Lord richly bless you and strengthen you in the years to come!