Monday, 25 March 2013

On Caring a Fig

Our community fig trees are currently useless.

Completely snow-bound. The one under the stillicide of the Big Barn seems to be shrouded in ice, where the drips have fallen onto it and frozen.

Anyone going to visit our figs today, being hungry, would be deeply disappointed. And rather foolish. You don't pick figs in March in England - whether there's four inches of snow on the ground or not.

Jesus's fig seems a slightly different case. Sure, it's too early for figs. But the tree's looking like it should be fruiting - some trick of the weather or micro-climate making it look like you might be lucky.

And then up in Jerusalem, when all the other nations are still worshipping their pantheons of idols, this is the place where the God who can't be drawn is worshipped. The blood of animals is poured out before a God of whom there are  no sculptures. The God whose main request is a broken heart, and a repentant attitude. And these last three years there have been signs of life - green leaves of repentance. Maybe there is fruit here?

But the bustle inside the walls is a market. The money-changers, priests and Romans connive at a little money making scheme - industrialising repentance. The nation that should have borne fruit, is flowing with the sap of commerce, feeding on the poor.

Plants produce fruit when time is running short. When the plant thinks the good times are coming to an end, it prioritises seed over leaf. When it's comfortable, and it seems like the summer's gonna last forever, it puts its energy into establishing itself; building up its resources - not going for that mad dash into autumn that drags its energy out, saps its strength, but produces a crop.

So the fig tree's a symbol. The good times are running out. The Autumn's gonna be here before you know it. And beyond that the winter chill.

So is it time to produce leaves, stocking up the carbs for an eternal summer?

Or fruit, for the harvest is near? 

1 comment :

Drop a thoughtful pebble in the comments bowl