So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’ ”Luke 13:7-9
The warnings are plentiful and blunt on the third Sunday in Lent.
Lent is a season of repentance. Cut it out or get cut down!
The warnings are accompanied by God’s invitation to attentiveness: “Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.”
The landowner’s ultimatum is forestalled by the gardener’s readiness to till the ground one more year.
That is good news for all of us. Thanks be to God!
Sunday Worship Music
The Hymn of the Day for the Traditional services is As the Deer Runs to the River
The text of today’s hymn of the day, penned by Herman Stuempfle, recalls the images in the first reading where all are called to the waters to eat. We come to Jesus, like a parched and weary deer, to drink of him and live.
With lyrics, “Give us clean hands, give us pure hearts, let us not lift our souls to another” the worship song focuses on our need and desire to repent and turn to the Lord. The season of Lent is a time we are invited to look at the things that create dust and ash in our lives, and to turn to God to be forgiven and cleansed in righteousness.
For Your Reflection
Our Gospel story for this day (Luke 13:1-9) is about repentance.
How are you engaging in being honest about your brokenness?
How do you model repentance (confessing and forgiving) to others?
In what ways are you teaching the children in your life about repentance?
When thinking about your life, where do you see the good fruit of patience, kindness, and generosity growing?