Gift: Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe) – With the gift of wonder and awe (fear of the lord), we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love.
Reading: 4 And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. (So) cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.'” (Luke 13:6-9)
Observation: This morning, the first reading is full of good news about understanding that God has a mission for all of us and that we have been given gifts to carry out that mission. However, I couldn’t escape the significance of the Gospel reading today. First, the call to repentance that I know by my own sinful nature is necessary to hear, and then the reminder that the end will not wait forever. The more I hear about the Apostles and other disciples in the beginning of the church in Jerusalem and surrounding countries, the more I realize that they expected the return of Jesus during their lifetime. More importantly though, I think, that attitude was an important part of what made them more disciplined in their faith life and spreading the good news as fast as possible.
Personification: Faithfulness I am hearing a call today to stop thinking about the first disciples of Christ as wrong about the time of Jesus’ return, but rather right in their attitude toward acting as if he was coming soon. What I mean to say is, I will try to display the fruit of faithfulness in every thing I do today, because if we truly do not know the time or the hour, I should stop acting like I have plenty of time to preach the good news and tell everyone that Jesus loves them.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, help me to spread the good news of your return and grant me a repentant heart to turn away from sin and follow through with your call for me to share your love with everyone I come in contact with. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit. Amen.