Co-written by: The Mercy Community
Reflection—v.9, ‘cut down and thrown into the fire’
When we read this text as a community, people questioned what John could possibly mean with his frightening metaphor about throwing non-fruit bearing trees into the fire. ‘Is he talking about people?’ we pondered. Surely not. What we know about God is that God finds value in all people. Nobody, that’s right, nobody gets thrown away by God. Society may cut you down and throw you out like human garbage, but never God. So what is John saying here? We pooled our collective wisdom and decided there are some things that don’t bear fruit in this world. If John is talking about bearing fruits of repentance, of really changing our hearts and lives, there are some things that need to be cut down and thrown out, because some things aren’t working toward the kingdom of God. Racism. Cut it down and throw it in the fire. Genderism. Cut it down and throw it in the fire. Classism. Cut it down and throw it in the fire. As we already affirmed, God doesn’t throw anybody away. It doesn’t matter what side of the border you happen to be on, what side of town you happen to live in. God cares about you. As Christians, we are called to care about one another. God is coming to clear out the things that inhibit us from loving one another, to cut down that which doesn’t bear the fruits of love and dignity and enough resources for all. The ax is already at the root of the trees.
Prayer: O God, nourish our hearts that we may bear the fruits of love and dignity.