Reading Luke 13: 1-9
The world is sometimes filled with tragedy and sorrow. You do not have to watch the news too long to feel the urge to turn off the television. In today’s passage the people come to Jesus with a story of death and tragedy and are seeking help to make sense of it. Jesus instead bring sup another story of loss and sorrow. He warns us that tragedy can strike us all and that we must therefore repent, lest we will perish. Jesus is implying that death will come to us all; it is up to us how we choose to live our lives between now and then. Will our lives lead us to perish to hell or to rise to eternal life?
Jesus goes on to tell the parable of the fig tree. The owner comes for a third year and again finds no fruit on the tree. He instructs the gardener to cut it down. The gardener asks for one more year. He will tend to it and water it and fertilize it in an effort to help the tree bear fruit. In this parable we are the fig tree. Year after year Jesus pours into us through the Word, in worship, in small groups, … He yearns to see us bear fruit. The Holy Spirit works on us also, pruning and fertilizing and guiding us along so that we are more able to bear fruit.
As we continue to grow in our faith, we will bear fruit as we mature, just as the tree will. As we touch the lives of others, bearing fruit and shining the light and love of Jesus, we will bring hope and comfort amidst the darkness and tragedies of this world. It is through our witness and love that others will come to know Jesus, the only source of strength, healing, and understanding in the midst of pain and sorrow. As we are fruitful and faithful witnesses, we are living for and pointing others toward the one and only way to true, eternal life: Jesus Christ.