As we come into our first Sunday in Lent we read the parable found in Luke 13:5-9
5 “No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did.” 6 Jesus told this parable: “A man owned a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7 He said to his gardener, ‘Look, I’ve come looking for fruit on this fig tree for the past three years, and I’ve never found any. Cut it down! Why should it continue depleting the soil’s nutrients?’ 8 The gardener responded, ‘Lord, give it one more year, and I will dig around it and give it fertilizer. 9 Maybe it will produce fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.’”
What is the ending to this parable? In truth it is an unfinished parable waiting for an ending. "Give it one more year" if it then does not produce fruit cut it down. Of course Jesus is talking about himself and when Jesus told this story he was on His way to Jerusalem where he would die on the cross. Jesus had been preaching, healing and ministering for about three years. The leaders became more insistent and determined to do away with Jesus than they were when he first began. This parable would have challenge those hearing him speak.
The gardener however pleaded to give one more year to bear fruit. This open ended parable should speak to all of us who are following Jesus. It begs the question during this Lenten journey; how will I finish the unfinished parable in my life?
This parable is the perfect parable to begin discernment as we journey toward the cross and then Easter morning. I hope it lures you into thinking a little deeper about the fruits you bear. God bless you and I really hope we see each other this morning as we look at Luke's Gospel.
Father, Abba, I come before you this morning asking you with trepidation and excitement to dig up the soil around me, to add the ingredients I need and water me. Help me in this my Lord so I may do Your work with You and my life may the bear the fruits that will please You. Father I ask you to bless my Lenten journey, to bless our Eccumenical services and our studies being offered here at EOCC. May they be true to Your Word. Father thank you for the gifts of fellowship that I have through this church, my family and the community in which I live. Forgive me when I get down and when I sin. I ask this in the name of Your Son jesus. Amen.
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006