It is Tuesday in Holy Week. As the world continues to deal with the war in Ukraine, increasing costs and personal stresses, those who walk this Holy Path in this holiest of holy weeks, seek to make time to reflect, pray, consider Jesus’ activities on this day.

What was Jesus doing on Tuesday in Holy Week? Some say that this was the day that Jesus told the story of the fig tree (Luke 13:1-9) which goes like this: Once upon a time, there was a fig tree that did not bear fruit. For three years, the owner looked for figs, but there were none to be found. Finally, in frustration, the owner called the gardener and told him to cut the tree down. “Why should this tree go on using up good space and nutrients? It’s a waste of resources. Let’s get rid of it and plant another tree that will bear fruit.” The gardener was more patient. “Don’t cut it down just yet,” he said. “Give it just one more year. I will give it water, dig around it and fertilize it. Then we shall see if it will bear fruit. Give the tree another chance.”

On this Tuesday in Holy Week, perhaps we might reflect (in our thoughts, our Journal, our prayers, our conversations) how we’re like the fig tree owner
– more willing to write people off than give them ‘another chance’
– more ready to swing at the base of any trunk/person we don’t find to our liking
– more ready to bring another crashing down to the ground by our negative thoughts, unkind comments, gossip, rather than give them ‘another chance’?

And not just “how”
but, “how often.”

Some might say that those actions/reactions are part of our human nature. Perhaps so – initially .
But do they have to be part of us forever?

Do we have to be like the fig tree owner for the rest of our lives?
Can we change?
Do we want to change?
Are we willing to change?

If the answer to any of those questions is “I am open to changing” then perhaps this prayer on Tuesday in Holy Week will encourage us so that we don’t have to be like the fig tree owner for the rest of our lives.

Creator, thank you for your constant presence in our lives.

May you encourage us to be gentle with ourselves, and one another, in our words, our actions, our thoughts.

May we choose to place the ax aside and nurture the tree so the production of the fruit of the Spirit (“for the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, thoughtfulness, gentleness, self control” – Galatians chapter 5) can be manifested in this world.

May we remember that you continually give us ‘another chance’.

And may we receive your encouragement to give others ‘another chance’. Amen.

© June Maffin

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