slightly revised 9/19/23
Millions was the Debt....


Millions was the debt he owed, yet still he pleaded with the king—
and this king, within Christ’s story, did forgive him. Everything!
Leaving, though, he met a man with debt to him, who pleaded, too,
but he choked him, ord’ring prison till the man paid what was due.

Then the king, who heard about it, called him forward, and enraged,
gave him over to the jailers till those millions were repaid.

Or, a vineyard owner, early, hired some workers, wage agreed.
Through the day, he added others, hired at nine and noon and three.
Five o’clock, with day near ending, he hired those who’d not found work,
and at quitting time, these last received a full day’s wage, paid first!

It was then the earliest workers, getting paid what they'd agreed,
grumbled at that owner—but he held to generosity.

In these stories taught by Jesus, God is God of Graciousness—
with unfath‘mable forgiving, and a richer gen’rousness.
Though we can’t repay God’s mercies, Christ says mercy God expects.
We repeat it: “God, forgive, as we forgive each other’s debts.”

And we ask the help of God to grow toward generosity,
knowing mercy, loving mercy, mercy giv’n abundantly.

This hymn/song combines two important parables from Jesus—The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18:21-35) and The Parable of of the Vineyard Workers (Matthew 20:1-16). In the Revised Common Lectionary, the stories come up a week apart during September of Year A. This song could be used for either Sunday.

Piano Accomaniment (with intro.)

Sheet Music Files Audio FileSong/Study






Musical Details:

The tune for this is RUSTINGTON, with a repeat of the second half of each verse. (We offer a dedicated piano arrangement above.) If your congregation knows RUSTINGTON, our hymnsheet can lead them through. If they don't know RUSTINGTON, you could program this for an ensemble, printing the text for the congregation to consider. As with all our songs, churches may reproduce the texts for their congregations.


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