the third sunday in lent
the PRAYER. . .
Eternal God, your kingdom has broken into our troubled world through the life, death, and resurrection of your Son. Help us to hear your word and obey it, and bring your saving love to fruition in our lives, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
the READING. . .
Then [Jesus]he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. . . .”
the DEVOTION. . .
As kids, faith was pretty simple. “Jesus Loves the Little Children, All the children of the world!” Period! End of sentence! But somewhere along the way, it got complicated. We learned to draw lines. To build walls. To decide who was good and who was bad, who was in and who was out, who was worth saving and who wasn’t. But when all was done and said, Jesus was the furthest thing from our mind. This week, it’s a man who plants a tree, comes back three years later looking for figs, finds none. And – like we adults have come to expect – we start looking around for the axe at the roots. And, of course, for the fire…
This time, I went online. GardeningKnowHow.com. “Typically, a fig tree” they say, “will not fruit until it reaches two years old, but it can take some trees as long as six years to reach the right maturity.” Then, “There is nothing you can do to speed up the rate a tree matures at.” Finally, “Time and patience are the only fixes.” I read that last line, again. “Time and patience are the only fixes.” No threats. No warnings. Just time! Time and patience! Time and patience for trees! Time and patience for us! Time and patience for the whole world! The gospel of the Lord!
Bob Barndt, pastor