Repent and Become Fruitful
By Michele McGrath of Blue Springs, MO, USA
Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put fertilizer on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’” —Luke 13:6–9 NRSV, adapted
When I was a pastor, a man attended our church who had a background of addiction. He would say, “This church literally has saved my life!” and “This church is the bomb!” (That was a good thing!)
It was only after he had been a steady part of the church, never missing a Sunday for nearly a year, that I finally got up the nerve to ask if he’d like to be baptized. His answer was, “I thought you’d never ask!”
The parable of the fruitless fig tree teaches us there is still time to bear fruit, but we have limited time to act. There is urgency! If not taken, opportunities may pass us by and continue to the person who jumps at the chance to make a difference in the world.
What change could my congregation or I make to change the life of another? What am I waiting for?
Prayer for Peace
Master Gardener, may we always keep the invitation open and deliberate so no one needs to wait. Help us remember—if it is to be, it is up to me.
Spiritual Practice: Invite People to Christ
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 162:3b and 163:2b. Pray to be aware of people who might be receptive, and therefore blessed, by your sharing of the message of the Living Christ. Imagine being in relationship with them and inviting them to Christ. In preparation, discover your personal testimony of Christ. “Be persistent in your witness and diligent in your mission to the world.” Repeat this mantra throughout the day: “Christ’s mission, our mission, my mission.”
Today, God, I will watch for any glimmer of interest and not hesitate to invite.