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Grow - March 14, 2021

by Rev. Joan Kessler

Luke 13: 6-9

Today’s message may sound a bit ironic so I need you to pay close attention. This message is about some things and it is not about other things. I am going to start by telling you, in light of the parable of the barren fig tree, what this reflection is not about.

Over these past Lenten weeks, we have been talking a lot about our church’s finances and how COVID has impacted our community of faith. When I chose this parable for this Sunday, I easily connected the story to our need to bring some new life and new ideas and renewal into our midst. This week, all of our seedling starter kits were picked up and I hope you are starting to see the fruit of your effort with the poking up of tiny green shoots. They are a joy to watch and I don’t know if I planted my seeds correctly but the soil and the water and sun have provided. The project was imagined to lift our spirits and bring us together for a common purpose and thank you so very much for your willingness to help. The parable of the barren fig tree on its surface is literally about gardening and tending to those things we value. But this message is not about growing seeds.

This message is also not about stewardship even though we are going to launch our COVID Recovery Campaign in a few short weeks from now. You are going to be invited to consider your participation and contribution of time, talent and treasure for this community of which you belong to. Because, you belong here. And you have gifts to share. This parable from Luke is all about a challenge… of bearing fruit or dying… this is a pretty good stewardship campaign slogan I daresay. I like Mary Oliver’s take on this parable with her line from her famous poem, A Summer’s Day where she challenges, “Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” She asks this question as she spends her afternoon observing the marvels of a grasshopper eating and the wonder of the natural world all around. Some might say that’s a waste of time, but for Oliver, if we don’t pay attention, what else would you be doing? So this message is not a plea for you to consider your steward