Read Luke 13:1-9

At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. He asked them, "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them–do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did."

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 manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’"

from Rev. Don Snyder, First Christian Church, Beckley:

While there a variety of sins, they all have one thing in common: sinners. The weight and/or guilt of our sin is not witnessed in the events of life that may befall us, but rather in our response to the gift of grace given to us by God. Suffering may occur at the hands of another (the Galileans martyred by Pilate), or even befall us by tragedy (the victims of the Tower of Siloam falling). However, the saving act of God in Jesus provides us something that neither the most terrible tormentor, nor the greatest disaster that comes to pass may overcome: a kingdom life that bears fruit for the Master. The only obstacle to this kingdom is a failure to respond to the gift of God in this life.

Help me to own my faults, O God, and find victory over them in your overwhelming grace.