Luke 13: 6-7 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, ‘Behold, these three years 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, ‘Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”
This was part of last Sunday’s Gospel and set me thinking, always a dangerous thing, about God’s provision for our salvation. Now we might say, as we look at the state of the world, “Why doesn’t God intervene?” But consider what we are asking here and what kind of intervention do we want. After all when God intervened to put an end to evil in the world in the time of Noah, only one small family group survived.
If we consider the coming of Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection,as God’s greatest intervention, then the time granted us to respond becomes very precious indeed. The fig tree is given a second chance and so are we. But the time granted to respond is finite. The fig tree has a stay of execution of one year. Our time to respond is within a human lifetime, that is until our death or until Jesus returns,as he promised, whichever comes first.
In the meantime it is the “Time of Manuring” and the manure applied to us is the good news of Jesus Christ revealed in the Bible. Forgiveness is offered us. We can have new life in Jesus through his death and resurrection and the provision of the Holy Spirit. Good news indeed! But the time to respond is finite and it is no good counting on an eleventh hour conversion if you die at 10:30. Make it now, if the penny has dropped – why wait?
Until we meet again – D&SCE. (Death and Second Comings Excepted)
Footnote – What is the fruit we are to produce? Galatians 5: 22-23 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.
Thought – Immerse yourself in the manure, the word of God, in order to bear fruit.
Strange imagery but it made me smile.