|Theme:||God expects us to be fruit-bearing Christians. Lent 3 C|
|Object:||A bowl full of different kinds of fruit.|
|Scripture:||..."A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?' " 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.' " Luke 13:6-9 (NIV)|
Look what I have... apples, oranges, peaches, and bananas. Yum! Yum! I think I'll have a delicious snack right now. How about you? Would you like to join me? Do you know what I think would be great? I think it would be great to have a lot a fruit trees in your yard so that any time you wanted a snack, you could just go out and pick a piece of fruit off of the tree. But what if you had an fruit tree in your yard that never had any fruit on it? It wouldn't be good for anything except shade, would it?
In our Bible lesson today, Jesus told a story about a man who planted a fig tree in his garden. After some time had passed, he went to look for some fruit on the tree, but there was none. Year after year he watched the tree, but the tree never produced any fruit. Finally, the man went to the gardener who took care of the tree and said to him, "For three years I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! It is just taking up space in the garden."
The gardener answered, "Please, sir, give it one more chance. Leave it for another year. I will give it special attention. I will dig around the tree and give it plenty of fertilizer. If the tree produces fruit next year, great, if not, then you can cut it down."
In telling this story, Jesus was really talking about us and about God. God has "planted" us here on this earth and he expects us to produce good fruit in our life. What kind of fruit does he expect? When He looks at the way we live our life, he wants to see things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and gentleness. There are times when he is disappointed in what he sees, but he is willing to give us another chance.
What can we do to help us produce the kind of fruit that God expects? We can worship regularly, read God's Word, and pray. Those things will help us to live a fruitful life. Let's pray right now and ask God to help us.
Heavenly Father, we know that you expect good things from your children. Help us live a life that will be pleasing to you. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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