And he 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.’” Luke 13:6-9
Nothing can last forever. The fig tree that was in our yard when I was young was lost during a storm. It had produced fruit and given us shade for many years. It spread roots widely but could not hold on in gale force winds in sandy soil. It stood its ground and gave us delight for many years. Our fig tree had a great run, produced despite our negligence and is still missed by us all.
Jesus was again talking in parables. Using stories that created pictures in the minds of his listeners helped them understand but also remember. He wanted them to understand the importance of repentance and living a life of faith. God does not want us to dwell on our mistakes but simply ask forgiveness and get about the business of producing fruit. We are invited to do what we can with what we have. We are called to offer the gifts we have been given with the rest of the world, and to offer ourselves for change and growth. For God's love, we are invited to change and grow for the love of the world.
Today I ask God to help me repent of those things which keep me from growing. Help us all to shed the past that we cling to and take on the challenges ahead. May we be faithful day by day, so that others might know the depth of God's love. And may we bear the pruning with grace knowing that God is working with us for the love if all.