Saturday, March 23
“Jesus told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, “Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?” And he answered him, “Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.”
In response to two tales of apparently undeserved tragedy, Jesus calls those who can hear to repentance: “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Then, he tells a parable about an unproductive fig tree, its owner, and the gardener. The owner, understandably frustrated that he has lost money on the tree for three years straight, wants to cut his losses. Still, the gardener counsels patience, and asks for more time to coax fruit from tree.
It’s not at all clear who’s God in this parable. It may be that the owner represents God, and the gardener represents Christ and/or the Holy Spirit. What is clear, given that my three-year old is screaming in my ear for candy while I type, is that the fig tree represents all of us. And that is the good news, that our present is not our future if we accept the instruction of experience and those who care for us. We can improve, grow, and produce the fruit of the Kingdom.
Prayer: Lord, in your grace and mercy, help us to learn, to seek wisdom, to seek your understanding, so that our lives may produce the fruit that you seek. Amen.