Weekly Devotion

Check this page weekly for a brief devotion written by a member of our congregation. May these words be a blessing to you as you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

THURSDAY, March 9, 2023

"I tell you...unless you repent you will likewise perish...If it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but it not you can cut it down" (Luke 13:5, 9).

A warning and a promise. As the owner of the fig tree expects figs, so the Lord expects "fruit" from the lives of His people. When the "fruit" does not appear the tree is no longer of any use; it is taking up valuable space in the ground. It must be removed. Yet the gardener who has developed an affection for this tree pleads for more time. Perhaps a little cultivation and some fertilizer will change things. The owner agrees. There is still time. That is the promise.

Jesus came - and comes- to tell us and help us to look at ourselves. He bids us to ascertain whether or not we are "bearing fruit". If we are not bearing that "fruit" then we need to "repent", that is, change our way of life to enhance fruit bearing.

Just what is that "fruit"? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. How do we produce all that? Thankfully we are already planted in the fertile ground of God's word of promise through the gift of faith by the Spirit in Holy Baptism. Our Lord sends His Spirit to cultivate and fertilize the ground with His proclaimed and sacramental Word. He continues to come to us also as the Gardener.

But unlike the fig tree we are not simply recipients. The fig tree simply stands where it is planted. We can "walk away" from where we are planted to other "ground" as, unfortunately, we often do. That not only spoils our ability to grow and produce good fruit, it also contributes to our dying.

Yet there is time. The Gardener continues to plead our case. He continues to cultivate and fertilize. The only question now is: will we remain in His vineyard and let Him do His work?

- Pastor Henry

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