Isaiah 55:1-9/ Psalm 63/ Luke 13:1-9
Come to Me, Come Back to Me
Breech of Relationships
Have you ever experienced a breech in any of your relationships and you suffered both physically and emotionally? My most significant experience of this happened when I was living in Kimberley. It was a difficult time, to say the least.
The stress from work and dealing with my husband’s toxic family took a toll on both our mental health, and one day, the ticking bomb exploded. When my husband took his son and moved into his sister’s basement, my mental health became worse. I physical became ill too.
Not being with him was so much worse than the extreme stress that caused the explosion. My life felt empty. I was unwell. It was only when our relationship was fixed that I became well again. I realized that I couldn’t be well without him.
Barren Without God
Today’s Old Testament and Gospel readings teach us that our lives are barren without our relationship with God; Isaiah by testifying the abundant life with God, and Luke, the barrenness of being away from God. Last Sunday, we learned what sin and repentance are. Drifting away from God and leading a life incompatible with God’s values is sin and turning our life around to come back to God (and God’s values) is repentance.
Isaiah’s presentation of abundance is God’s promise if and when we go back. We will have an abundant life in a relationship with God.
Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
The context in which Jesus tells The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree is the failure to repent.
There may be a lot of different reasons why a plant fails to prosper; one of them is the lack of water and nutrients. Remember the plant analogy from Psalm 1 in which the psalmist says that those who delight in God’s law and meditate on it are like trees planted by streams of water that yield fruits and their leaves do not wither.
Obviously, we are the trees and God is the streams of water. Away from God, our souls cannot prosper. I know this tree and water analogy well since, unfortunately, I have a lot of experience causing my plants to wither because I failed to water them on time. Sometimes, they recover from my make up watering sessions. Sometimes, they don’t. Plants need water and the people of God need to be in a good relationship with God.
My Soul Thirsts for You, God
Listen to the voice of today’s psalmist that represents every person of God. “You are my God. I seek you. My soul thirsts for you. My flesh faints for you as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Our body and soul instinctively seek God’s presence in our lives as the plants thirst for water and the sunflower turns towards the sun.
Going Back to God During Lent
I pray that this Season of Lent will be a time for us to go back to God and strengthen our relationship with God. Let us seek God with the thirst of a dry plant and seek to be guided by God in our lives.
A good and healthy relationship requires going through the pain of saying, “Sorry I hurt you and I really don’t want to do it again.” If we have done something wrong against God’s will, let us say sorry and ask God to change us so that we can do better. If we have failed to do something good that we ought to, let us ask God for the guidance and strength to do more good deeds.
Only in our close relationship with God are we able to live as Jesus did, with God’s principles of compassion and justice. Let us spend more time with God in our daily lives. Let us pray that God will always be with us and lead us. With the tender love and yearning for a loved one, a soul mate, let us sing the next hymn “Jesus, Love of My Soul” and seek an intimate relationship with God.