Friday 18 March 2022

Prayers 20th March 2022 Lent 3, Luke 13v1-9,

Love and faith come together

Justice and peace join hands

God open our lips 

And our mouths shall proclaim your praise.


Song “Jesus Christ I think upon your sacrifice”


Confession-Silence followed by:


We celebrate your creation, your life, your death and resurrection, your interest in us. So to you we pray;


Lord bring new life where we are worn and tired, new love, where we have turned hard hearted, forgiveness, where we feel hurt and where we have wounded, and the joy and freedom of your Holy Spirit where we are the prisoners of ourselves. Amen.


Reading Luke 13v1-9

13 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’



The dreadful wars around the world are evidence that bad things happen to good people. But some would say that these things have happened as a judgment on the people for their wrong doing "If my people who I call in my name.... Some people believe that you bring upon yourself bad things through bad karma. You attract these happenings because of your wrong attitude or action.

There are even elements of this understanding in the Old Testament, the most famous examples being Job or Jonah.

There was an incident in Galileans that some some people tell Jesus about. A number of Galileans were killed by Pilate while offering sacrifices at the temple. No record of the incident occurs apart from in the New Testament, so it was probably like a local police incident. Similarly eighteen people were killed by the collapse of the tower of Siloam.  In the neighborhood of Siloam, the reservoir near the southeast corner of the Jerusalem wall fed by the water supply from Gihon. Jesus basically answers that this is not theirr fault but...unless we repent, turn away from doing wrong and live a good life worse will be instore for us. Repentance in the New Testament takes the sense of turning around, of turning toward God and resting on him.

So he avoids making a political comment about the abuse of power and instead raises a theological question about the relationship between suffering and sin. Is suffering the result of evil? Jesus says it isnt and he refutes the connection between the extent of suffering and the amount of sin in a person.
I have a fig trees in the garden. It is 14 years old. It has never really fruited. Ive thought of throwing it away. Its a waste of time and energy giving attention to it.

Someone had a fig tree a garden in which there are grape vines and other fruit-bearing trees and plants. It was a fruit garden. He went to look to see if there was any fruit on his fig tree. The fig tree was three years old and a fig tree can take four years before bearing fruit. So cut it down! Why should it use up good soil? There may also be a racist element here. Why should the Gentiles take up good land, why should the Palestinians have any land? So the man replied, Master, don't touch it this year", give me time to dig around it and manure it.

Jeremias calls this parable "It may be too late". Is the fruitless fig tree getting its second chance, or is it about to be chopped down? Some people think the fig tree represents Israel, but it could also represent Jerusalem? Even today Israel wobbles very precariously between righteous action and shocking discrimination against the indiginous Palestinians Arabs and Christians.  Is our God one of neverending patience or a jealous angry God? So is it that the Lord may delay judgment as he looks for repentance and its fruits, and will he give the fig tree another year? But in the end, he is saying if there is no repentance there will be judgment. Scary stuff!

We pray for the people of Ukraine, for the Russian people, for Tigray, Hong Kong, for Taiwan, for Syrians, for Yemenis, for Palestinians, for the Rohingas, for Uighurs; For those suffering from flooding, drought earthquakes, and cyclones due to climate change, for the millions of refugees, for homeless people, for those who are hungry, thirsty or in prison, for the terrified and deranged; and for the government to do the best for its people and not the worst; for our children, grandchildren and a better future for us all.


May God’s hand be upon us in these difficult times, your angels protect us and the Holy Spirit work in and around us. Amen 

Song “Beauty for brokenness”


This is the day God has made

We will rejoice and be glad in it

We will not offer to God

Offerings that cost us nothing

We will go in peace to serve God

We will seek peace and pursue it. Amen.




Total Pageviews