How disappointed God was with His people, over and over again! He had prepared the Promised Land and brought them out of Egypt to inhabit it. Yet, long before He let outsiders destroy it, the people—the vines in His vineyard—were producing “wild grapes,” according to Isaiah. And when the vineyard owner’s son came to receive good wine, they would have nothing to do with him. Jesus spells all that out in a parable. But the death of the Son is what produces life for all who call on Him in faith. Knowing Christ, as Paul proclaims, is all that matters. Everything else is rubbish. It wasn’t easy for Paul to say, and it isn’t easy for us to live, but nourished by Word and Sacrament, we can press on toward the upward call of our Savior, who awaits us in His eternal vineyard.