WORSHIP TOGETHER | Sunday 3-20-2022
Sunday, March 20, 2022
Second Sunday in Lent
The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:
– First Reading: Isaiah 55:1-9
– Psalm: 63:1-8
– Second Reading: I Corinthians 10:1-13
– Gospel Reading: Luke 13:1-9
The liturgical color for the day is: Purple
They want answers, they want justice. Jesus pointes them to something else. He points them to their own lives. He invites them to stop looking beyond at all the injustices that are done to them and he invites them to see their own lives. It is not just Pilate and the traumas and tragedies of this world; it is also about our role. He tells them, and us too, about that fig tree.
It is a useless tree. It should be cut down and the soil tilled and something else planted there. The farmer knows it is taking up space and pulling resources out of the soil while it is bearing no fruit. Cut it down and be done with it.
The farmer’s hired hand says, “Give me some time.” “Let me work on it. Let me till and fertilize and see what happens. Give it another year.” The hired hand does not see this as fait-a-complete’—he does not see it as finished and done. He sees the possibilities yet to be. He sees the capacities yet unrealized. He envisions the fate of this tree as something that can yet be turned around.
There is patience here with the hired hand. There is a cost to be born—the tilling and fertilizing and waiting. Yet, he sees the possibilities as something that can yet be turned around. It is a repentance of sorts in action.
In the encounter, the story of the tree is this holy blessing of Jesus. He stops them there. He wraps them in a shroud of love. In the cross of Christ, we see God leaning into us—leaning into our space with the confidence and grace and wrapping us in the shroud of love. It is God wrapping us with that shroud of love that enables us to bear fruit in this world.
Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk