A fruit tree that doesn’t bear fruit, like the one that belonged to my in-laws, is worthless. Its lack of fruit indicates that something is wrong with the entire tree. Similarly, Jesus uses the harsh words in today’s lectionary passage to reveal that the Pharisee’s heart-orientation is wrong at the core.
We live in an interesting age. Most of the time now, it feels like the church is being, at best, marginalized, or perhaps – more often – trampled underfoot. Many scriptural truths are scorned by society at large, with that scorn perhaps teetering on the brink of tipping toward outright persecution.
As you wait this Christmas season, in the midst of drought or at the onset of a long winter, as you wait for the promised one who we all need no matter how great or small, look around at what God has wrought, how he might be bringing to birth a new creation even in the midst of drought—and praise!