Third Sunday of Lent

Good morning all!  Well, we made it to Sunday…

Today’s scripture: Luke 13:1-9 (NRSV)                                                                                                                                       
 At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.” 

Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”

Today in McMinnville we are continuing our series on “Temptations of the church.”   Today we are talking about the temptation to give up on one another.  I have been talking about this topic with a few groups of people and it has been interesting to see their reactions.  Some people go directly to where they are having issues around this…situations in which they really have to step away from another person and some people go directly to where this isn’t an issue…where communities have gathered around them and have become chosen family. The conversations have been rich and I continuously walk away realizing that community and grace within that community are essential to who we are as human beings. Over and over again I think we come down on the side that isolation is a dangerous thing…boundaries can be good but complete isolate leaves us pretty empty.  As Elizabeth Gilbert puts it, “To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”
 
So to offer up something to dwell on as we continue the day I offer you this poem to remember how important we are to each other…

A Prayer among Friends

Among other wonders of our lives, we are alive
with one another, we walk here
in the light of this unlikely world
that isn’t ours for long.
May we spend generously
the time we are given.
May we enact our responsibilities
as thoroughly as we enjoy
our pleasures. May we see with clarity,
may we seek a vision
that serves all beings, may we honor
the mystery surpassing our sight,
and may we hold in our hands
the gift of good work
and bear it forth whole, as we
were borne forth by a power we praise
to this one Earth, this homeland of all we love.

“A Prayer among Friends” by John Daniel, from Of Earth: Poems.

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