Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Luke 13:6-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
6 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. 7 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?’ 8 He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Bearing Fruit is an Image Jesus Used. Jesus said that we will know people “by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.”
In the fifth chapter of Galatians, the apostle Paul describes the fruitful life of those who belong to Christ, who are open to God, the Holy Spirit, working within them. He writes, “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” He doesn’t stop at describing that life, but he also calls the Galatians—and I believe calls us—to LIVE it. He writes, “If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit.”
I invite you to think about Fruitfulness, to look at your own life and how you are living that out. The important question we ought to ask regularly is this: Am I living a fruitful life? Suppose you ask that question and your honest answer is that you aren’t living out your faith at all. Your life is bearing no fruit. What then?
Jesus’ parable in our reading for today speaks to grace, to second chances, to new beginnings. It isn’t too late. It is a parable about grace.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster