By: Bethany Apelquist
Luke 13: 1-9
Reflection—v. 8 ‘let it alone for one more year’
I’ll be very honest with you—I can, on occasion, be prone to being dramatic. If my fig tree doesn’t grow, I want to give up, cry into my pillow, cut the tree down, and throw it in the fire. So I can kind of can see where the gardner in the parable is coming from. I can understand his frustration. I think we can all probably feel for him. Lent is a peculiar season—we are waiting for both death and waiting for new life. I see Lent as the season where we can ‘let it alone’ for a while. Where we can set aside those things in our lives and in our world where we don’t see life, for a time of prayer and reflection. When we do, what might we see? Perhaps we could gain clarity on what really does need to be cut down. Could we start to see glimmers of new life in places that we used to only see the darkness of death? I think we would see a little of both. We would see that God is working in places that are seemingly lost, places that society has written off. We would see grace in so many new ways. But we would also see the systems of injustice that have to go. We would see the angers in our own hearts that need to die. We would see the ways in which racism, sexism, and ableism are killing us. Then maybe we would come out of Lent, into the Easter season with better clarity, and with a new resolve to do the work of love and justice in this world. May it be so.
Prayer: God, give us clarity this Lent.