Read Luke 13:1-9

from Judy Bennett, Bridgeport, Ohio

            REPENT!   REPENT! REPENT! Get the message?   On this third Sunday in Lent, Jesus most certainly attempts to drive home the point as he calls us to repentance three times, the third being with the parable of the fig tree. And if we don’t? It’s simple…we shall perish! Perish as a withered fig tree.

Why does that word makes us so uncomfortable as Christians? And why do we despise the word so greatly? We seldom hear it even from the pulpit. Maybe it’s because repentance is not a one-time action on our part. What if we honestly faced our sin and made repentance an everyday part of our spiritual growth?             Ouch! That just might mean that we need develop a new perspective – one of acknowledging sin in all of its complexity. What if at the end of the day we not only count our blessings, but also our sins, and repent of them immediately – sins both of commission and omission. I need not name them – we know what they are. We also know that God’s judgment is certain, and also that he transforms us through grace. Life’s fragility gives repentance its urgency. As we continue the journey with Jesus to the cross, may our repentance be sincere and complete so that our trees may bear lush fruit for all to see.

O God, open my eyes that I may see the full extent of that

which separates me from the fullness of your love.   Amen.