About this same time Jesus was told that Pilate had given orders for some people from Galilee to be killed while they were offering sacrifices. 2 Jesus replied: “Do you think that these people were worse sinners than everyone else in Galilee just because of what happened to them? 3 Not at all! But you can be sure that if you don’t turn back to God, every one of you will also be killed. 4 What about those 18 people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Do you think they were worse than everyone else in Jerusalem? 5 Not at all! But you can be sure that if you don’t turn back to God, every one of you will also die.”
6 Jesus then told them this story:
“A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard. One day he went out to pick some figs, but he didn’t find any. 7 So he said to the gardener, ‘For three years I have come looking for figs on this tree, and I haven’t found any yet. Chop it down! Why should it take up space?’
8 The gardener answered, ‘Master, leave it for another year. I’ll dig around it and put some manure on it to make it grow. 9 Maybe it will have figs on it next year. If it doesn’t, you can have it cut down.’”
As we enter the third week of Lent, let us take heed of this week’s scripture readings, in particular the Gospel reading from Luke.
Jesus is making it clear that humanity needs to experience a change. These words of our Lord reverberate to our society in 2013 when He said, “But you can be sure that if you don’t turn back to God, every one of you will also be killed. 4 What about those 18 people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Do you think they were worse than everyone else in Jerusalem? 5 Not at all! But you can be sure that if you don’t turn back to God, every one of you will also die.”
To be sure, we know that we will die, but He is speaking of spiritual death here. There is no reason for anyone to die without His grace and assurance of eternity in Heaven.
Lent most certainly draws us into a special time of the year as we prepare ourselves for the remaining months. Medical science has shown how that fasting (doing without food for a period of time) has a special effect of our system.
Fasting brings about a certain detoxification for our bodies as we deny it those food items that may have gotten us into trouble to begin with. Denying ourselves of food for is not only good for the body, but it also detoxifies the spiritual side of our lives. It could be considered a purging of those sinful things that have caused us to over-indulge in habits that have become unhealthy for us, whether it’s food, drink or, other behaviors.
Much of life’s illnesses can be corrected by following what our Lord asks of us and that is to walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit.
Even if it’s giving up a meal and drinking water or juice for that short period of time, you will sense a difference. Go ahead, give it a try. It’s a great way to get a spiritual tune-up from the Holy Spirit.
Holy week is soon approaching and I would like for you to consider joining with me Monday or Holy Thursday evening for a special time together. More details to follow.
The Most Rev, Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, is a Bishop in the Lutheran Orthodox Church and can be reached at 812-614-2160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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