In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
1 Some who were present on that occasion told Jesus about the Galileans whom Pilate had killed while they were offering sacrifices. 2 He replied, “Do you think the suffering of these Galileans proves that they were more sinful than all the other Galileans? 3 No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did. 4 What about those eighteen people who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them? Do you think that they were more guilty of wrongdoing than everyone else who lives in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did.”
6 Jesus told this parable: “A man owned a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7 He said to his gardener, ‘Look, I’ve come looking for fruit on this fig tree for the past three years, and I’ve never found any. Cut it down! Why should it continue depleting the soil’s nutrients?’ 8 The gardener responded, ‘Lord, give it one more year, and I will dig around it and give it fertilizer. 9 Maybe it will produce fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.’”
1 As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 Jesus’ disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned so that he was born blind, this man or his parents?”
3 Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents. This happened so that God’s mighty works might be displayed in him.”
People asked Jesus to explain the “why” of a man born blind, in one case, and of some Galileans killed by Roman soldiers in the other. Jesus’ reply in both instances showed that he knew evil often strikes at random. God did not “single out” those who’d suffered to endure pain or loss. The open-ended parable Jesus told in Luke 13:6-9 pointed to human responsibility to “bear fruit,” not passive acceptance of anything that happens as “God’s will.”
Lord Jesus, I want my life to bear the kind of good fruit you desire and are willing to grow in me. Keep me responsive to your guiding voice in my heart. Amen.
I’ve long struggled with making sense of pain and suffering in this world. Yet, through my life lessons and studies, I’ve come to understand suffering not as God’s purpose or plan. Instead those painful times create a possibility for God’s love and grace to prevail despite the suffering. I appreciate the image of God wringing possibilities out of our pain. Those drips of tears and heartache are not wasted. When we are wrung out by life’s unpredictable outcomes God can use those as fertilization for new life and beauty to grow.
But I get it–this is easier said when the fire isn’t hot, right? In the thick of suffering, so many questions swirl within us. Our body, soul, and spirit want to know, “Why me?”, “Why this?”, “Why now?”. The reality is that we may never get answers to those questions, and perhaps what Jesus is saying in this parable is that getting an answer isn’t the point. Regardless of what answer or reasoning is given for the pain, what fruit, if any, will I choose to bear? Is my fruit-bearing reliant on the type of answer I receive?
Readers, I keep struggling. It’s a tug of war between the need for answers and Christ’s call to change my heart. I’m grateful for God’s grace as my heart pushes and pulls against the need to be changed. As troubles come and go, Lord, your love remains. Help my life to remain in your steadfast love, to be rich with soil that bears fruits of joy, love, justice, and peace.