Third Sunday of Lent 2016: The Gospel Passage – A teachable moment for repentance

At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.” (Luke 13:1-5)

Death or calamity does not come upon us because we have deserved it; nor are we spared calamity or misfortune because we lead exemplary lives. The caution, as Jesus tells it, is to repent from sin and lead good righteous lives. And then there is the additional warning of what can happen if we do not lead fruitful lives.

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”(Verses 6-9)

I was at loss, beloved reader, to know what else to say about this passage. Fortunate happenstance took me to a posting that pointed me in a good direction. Writer spoke to the fragile nature of human life. Galilean pilgrims were slaughtered when offering sacrifices in the temple, and in tragic imagery their blood was mingled amongst the blood of their offering. Furthermore, Jesus reminds them, of eighteen residents of Jerusalem who were crushed by a falling tower. They were not any better or worse, the Galileans or the Jerusalemites, than any one else.

We live in a world fraught with danger; both natural and human made. It behooves us not to let sin accumulate in the corners of our lives, but to confess and repent so that if calamity befalls us we know that our future in the life beyond is assured. And if that places too much in this teaching and parable, then at least hear this. We do not know when our lives will end, whether we will get another year or whether this day is our last. Do not wait to come to God! Come today, in this hour, in this minute! Come to God and lay down your confessing and contrite heart. And then pick up a new heart and spirit that lives in and for the Lord. Then come what may, you are already with God! Selah!

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About Carole Boshart

I have two blogs on WordPress. "A Simple Desire" which is based on the daily "Sips of Scripture" published and sent out by Third Way Cafe. "Pondering From the Pacific" is based on my reflections on the world - sometimes religious/spiritual, and sometimes not so much.

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