Text Size

  We are halfway through the Great 50 Days of Easter, during which we focus on strengthening our understanding of the life of discipleship. Discipleship is the life that we’re called into when we proclaim we have seen the Risen Christ and accept him as Lord of our life.

  What does that life look like? The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree (Luke 13:6-9) suggests that it is a life that bears fruit. Last weekend at a leadership workshop that I attended with Camilla Isley, I heard an excellent sermon on this parable. The Reverend Beth Hood reminded us that, like the vineyard owner, God longs to see the results of the hard work and sacrifice that have gone into the cultivation of the vineyard.

  A tree can be tended for years and it may grow tall and broad. It may be beautiful and it may serve certain purposes, such as providing shade and shelter, a place of refuge. It may serve those purposes for many years, but the vineyard owner wants to see the tree fulfilling its primary purpose of producing fruit. Without fruit, there are no seeds to produce more trees with more fruit. 

  The parable suggests that by trying something different, by turning over the soil and adding nutrients, even a barren tree can produce fruit. With Jesus as the gardener and the Holy Spirit as fertilizer, a barren life can be transformed into a fruitful one, a life that fulfills its primary purpose.

  The primary purpose of the church is to make disciples. That is the fruit God is longing for us to produce. As a church, we can be satisfied with faithfully providing shade and shelter, a place to meet and rest, or we can fruitfully participate with Jesus in the transformation of other lives as well as our own.

  The Great 50 Days culminates with Pentecost, the day the church celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the disciples (Acts 2). Jesus promised to the disciples that this outpouring would empower them to continue the works of Jesus and even greater works than these. On this day, the church began to move out in and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  Let us continue to pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the life of Mt. Hermon, that we may continue to move out into the world in fruitful ministries. Shade is nice, but fruit transforms and sustains!

Blessings,   Pastor Jane