Last week we learned that we need to be deconstructed to enter through the narrow door. In this week’s message, “The Key,” Fr. Stewart examined Luke 13:1-9 and the themes of sin and repentance. After deconstruction comes repair.
In the first few verses of chapter 13, we are challenged to see our own sin through the story of the Galileans. That one sin is not worse than another, and without repentance we will all perish. Though we may be tempted to compare our own goodness to others, we cannot escape our sin—it’s personal—“a radical evil, a ruined soul,” described Fr. Stewart. With that kind of heart how can we expect anything but death? Ruined, we must be cleansed through Christ by repentance.
Jesus reminds us a second time of our sin in verse six. This time, visually, with the barren fig tree. What use is a fruit tree that does not provide? Naturally, it should be cut down, just as our ruined soul deserves death. However, Jesus offers an alternative. There is hope even in a fig tree that has been barren for three years. Nurture and encourage the tree and then see if it bears fruit. Similarly, we are reminded that there is always the opportunity to return to the Father, no matter how deeply we are immersed in our sin.
I’ve experienced the despair sin can bring to our lives. I have felt trapped with no hope of being freed. But like the farmer should encourage the fig tree with fertilizer, Christ would not abandon me. He would continue to give me the opportunity to return to him. Just as I’ve felt bound, I’ve also experienced the great magnitude of grace and freedom Christ offers us through repentance. Praise him that he chooses to look away from who we once were!
Colossians 3:5, 8-9 says, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry… you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”
What has God placed on your heart this season that needs to be vocalized? Think of someone trustworthy you can talk with, be it a close friend or family member, a pastor or prayer minister. Prayerfully consult God on the timing and don’t delay. He is waiting.
Let him renew you.
Click here to download the Lenten Prayer Card and Schedule.
Click here to listed to Fr. Stewart’s sermon, ‘The Key.”
Story by Lindsey Learn