Our vision is the unified spiritual Bride of Christ, living and representing the gospel of God’s plan of salvation for humanity. Our mission is to nurture the church family as a spiritual organism, feeding the flock and sharing the gospel.
As we prepare for the Passover we go through a process of self-examination. In this process we look inward and evaluate our lives as Christians. We ask ourselves: Am I growing in spiritual maturity? Have I overcome the short comings I identified in myself last year? Or am I still struggling with the same issues and problems? If those issues are in the rear view mirror, has God shown me more things I need to overcome? It is a time we need to be truthful with ourselves.
We come to the Passover with the recognition that we are are sinners. And the wages of sin is death. We recognize that we need the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for our sins. Maybe you and I have been able to overcome some of our short comings. If so, there is the possibility that God may have revealed to you or me additional sins and short comings that we didn’t previously see. During this self evaluation process we may begin to feel overwhelmed in our recognition of not being worthy of our special calling.
In the Gospel of Luke there is a parable about a fig tree. The parable found here is different than the fig tree parables found in the other 3 gospels. In this parable Jesus speaks of a man who had planted a fig tree in his vineyard. The parable does not mention how long the tree had been planted. But it does mention that the owner of the vineyard has personally come for 3 years seeking fruit from this tree and has found none. And as a result he is ready to cut it down and remove it from the vineyard. He even mentions that this unproductive tree is using up the ground. Meaning not only is this tree not producing fruit, but it is using up space and taking nutrients from the other vines around it. It’s negatively affecting the plants around it. Cut it down and get rid of it.
As we review this parable we understand the keeper of the vineyard intercedes for this fig tree. He offers to personally take care of this tree. It will involve work, including digging around it and fertilizing it. And if it does bear fruit, great. And if not, the land owner may cut it down.
In a way, are we not like the fig tree? Called by God the Father and placed in His vineyard. Once here we are in the same soil, given the same water, sunlight, and care, as the entire vineyard. And yet the owner is not seeing the fruit He knows this fig tree can produce. And He is disappointed. To the point He is ready to remove it. But the keeper of the vineyard intercedes. Let me spend a little special time with it. Jesus Christ sacrificed His life that you and I may be saved. Christ will not give up on us. As we take the Passover this year we must appreciate that He intercedes for us. Let us be determined to produce the fruit that both He and the Father know we can produce.