Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
THANK GOD FOR THE INDESCRIBABLE GIFTLuke 13:6-9
Verses of Focus: 8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
I don’t know about you, but one of the most difficult parts of life for me is patience. I ran track in high school and college, and for me going fast is the only way I know. 20 years ago we weren’t using internet and landline phones at the same time, yet now if a massive document or program isn’t downloaded in 30 seconds or less, I am annoyed. Time is short and we cannot afford to waste it, so I would be quick to find another option or method if it meant better results. As we dive into today’s devotion we see how God’s patience with us is both an incredible gift of grace, but also a warning.
The passage for today is part of Jesus’ time speaking with a large crowd and the disciples. Jesus has shared many parables in this interaction, and has preached a message of repentance throughout his ministry. The people had brought up a situation where Galileans had met a sad fate and were killed while trying to offer sacrifices. Clearly in trying to do a service for God and dying, they had felt it was a punishment from God and deserved it. Jesus actually speaks against this notion and superstition. He even sites another tragedy of a tower in Siloam falling and killing others and says their sins do not outweigh yours. A verse that has always clarified this is in Jesus’ sermon on the Mount in Mathew 5:45 where Jesus says, “He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” This means both blessings and suffering equally comes on wrongdoers and those who try to live upright. We see here that Jesus actually warns of an end outside of their deaths.
The previous context is what prefaces Jesus’s parable and the passage today. As Jesus continues, He clarifies that all need to be weary of upcoming judgment and perishing, and starts the story of a vineyard owner and his worker. The owner sees crops not growing and desires to tear it down and start again. However, the worker pleads that he may be able to revive it if he puts extra work and tries to renourish it within a year. If it doesn’t work then he will obey the owners wish and tear it down. This a worthy metaphor of what Christ did for us when we face judgment from God. He gives us time and pleads to let us grow and flourish. Those who know God and are in Him flourish, but apart from Him we are fruitless. Moreso the perishing Jesus warns is not in this life but of our soul’s future after this life on earth ends when we face judgment from God. Christ is constantly working in us and our circumstances to draw us to Him and grow even if we don’t see it. The greater question is where our roots and what hold us back.
Farming and crop work was an extremely relatable metaphor for the people because it was not only survival, but the livelihood of many of the common people Jesus interacted with. In our lives there are a lot of things that may seem like an utmost priority, but life in Christ is the only true way of being fruitful. We don’t know how our when our life ends, but the greater question is what happens to our soul after. Those of us in the faith need to be rooted in God and to also teach that to all people. In living a life worthy and in the light of Christ, we excel in all things. My hope and prayer for all of us in Jesus’ warning is that we work through our faith with reverence and joy. It’s a gift and duty we have to spread the word and also live it out. Let us pray 2022 is a year of extraordinary love and grace to others and focus on our God who is Lord of all. Blessings to you as we close out this year.
Lord help me not to fear of how my life on this world ends, but be proud how I live each and every second of each day. Help me to use my gifts and abilities for only Your glory and resist sin and evil I see. May 2022 be a year of growth in my life and pleasing in your sight. Amen
Thought for the Day
Do I believe that hard circumstances come upon only other “sinful people”? In what ways am I being hindered in my growth and fruitfulness of faith
The Mar Thoma church Staten Island, New York