Luke 13:8, "'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave [the fig tree] 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.'"

Our desire is often to point to others in order to compare our spirituality to the lack of spirituality or lack of morality in other people. It makes us feel better to know that we’re better than others. If we do that, then we don’t have to confront the ugly reality of our own hearts: that we are just as sinful and vile as the rest; that our sins are just as serious a matter as anyone else’s. And if we lose sight of that, then we lose sight of our own deserved condemnation while we’re busy condemning the rest of the world or the rest of humanity.

But the gardener is hard at work. Jesus, like the gardener in Luke 13, is there to work on our behalf and bring us back to health so that we do produce fruit. We are not forsaken to our own efforts, we are not written off becuase of our sinfulness. We are very much loved and taken care of. Jesus lived his perfect life, he died his innocent death for sinners like you and me.

There will come a time when judgment comes, but right now, the time is right to leave our sins behind and take hold of the joyful and freeing message of our gardener, Jesus Christ, who worked hard and is working hard to help us produce fruit.