Matthew 20, Labourers in the Vineyard, hymn — George Stuart, Australia

Grapes on the vine, by Christine Haines, UK

Year A, Pentecost 15
Reading: Matthew 20:1-16
The Labourers in the Vineyard
Tune: Wir Pflugen

For the lyrics, music and a power point, click here.

George shares his lyrics copyright free.


God’s kin-dom was the focus
Whenever Jesus taught.
The people heard of freedom,
The message they all sought.
He used familiar customs,
The life-style that they knew
To tell of God’s intention
For everything we do.
As we hear the story
God’s kin-dom comes close by.
It will appear
For those who hear
To charm and edify.


Quite early in the morning
One hired folks each day;
This owner of a vineyard
Set normal rates of pay.
But as the evening hastened
with need to hire more,
the folk still stood there idle
As others had before.
As we hear the story
God’s kin-dom comes close by.
It will appear
For those who hear
To prompt the question, ‘Why?’


Now when the day was ended
Those hired last were paid.
Imagine their amazement
At payments they were made.
Though working just one hour,
(They could not take it in.)
They got a full day’s wages.
“Where does one’s thanks begin?”
As we hear the story
God’s kin-dom comes quite near.
A gen’rous deed
Can sow a seed;
For those who wish to hear.


The labourers, who worked through
The blazing midday sun,
Expected from the owner,
For all the work they’d done,
A comprehensive increase
On what had been agreed;
The owner did not listen;
Their claims received no heed.
As we hear the story
God’s Kin-dom is expressed.
We must discern
We cannot earn
The love with which we’re blest.


The owner asked those workers
To search their hearts and mind.
“Why must you be so jealous
Because I have been kind?
I paid you all fair wages;
I gave this guarantee.
But if, as well, I’m gracious –
That’s what I choose to be!
Deep within this story
God’s reign is bountiful.
Grace lies beyond
The justice pond,
An ocean, wonderful!

Thanks to George’s generosity, all of the lyrics published on his website are free of any copyright restrictions and limitations and thus are all available for your use.

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