6He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.7Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?8And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:9And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
Subject: “The Ish… (stuff) that makes us Grow!
Church I must say today everyday of my life has truly been interesting, challenging, and a blessing. Also as I stand hear today as a husband, a father, a son, a friend, a youth minister, a follower of Christ, a leader, and as a follower; I testify that life is no easy journey. Life is filled with influences, voices, messages, distractions, blessings, cursings, and more that compete for our time, resources, and focus. The theme for Vacation bible school last week was JesusTruth Seekers. We talked about various principles that we should seek for in our every day lives in order that we may find, and aquire Christ. In the teen class we had great discussions around forgiving, obeying, building, and …. Well in one class we began to talk about music and talked about the messages that were being brought forth and how they address the life or culture that we live in today. Well I must say the list was long, and while many of the songs were no more than a rant or advertisement for sex, partying, drugs, and money; there were actually a couple of artists who actually had something to say. These songs lifted up some real situations that really cause us to think and challenge us at our very core of being. The first song is by Rhianna. Our young people know who she is, and many of the rest of us may not have known her if it were not for her altercation with r&b artist Chris Brown. In her song and video, Rhianna tackles the theme of domestic violence framed by a story of a pretty girl who is raped by a total stranger, and therefore the girl, takes justice into her own hands and takes the life of her attacker. As a result she is thrown further into a state of misery and confusion.
The song starts as such:
didn't mean to end his life
I know it wasn't right
I can't even sleep at night
Can't get it off my mind
I need to get out of sight
Before I end up behind bars
What started out as a simple altercation
Turned into a real sticky situation
Me just thinking on the time that I'm facing
Makes me wanna cry
Now, that she has done it her way, she is in a far worse state than she was when she first started. I can think of many times in my life when I did it my way and just made the situation worse.
Now to another song called How to Love, by Lil Wayne.
He writes a song that’s starts as such:
You had a lot of crooks tryna steal your heart
Never really had luck, couldn’t never figure out
How to love
How to love
You had a lot of moments that didn’t last forever
Now you in this corner tryna put it together
How to love
How to love
While done in a very different way lil Wayne also looks at the state of uncertainty that life can leave us in due to a certain event, person, situation, issue, failure or even victory. And its these these things that I would like to call the “ish” or stuff that makes us grow.
In our passage today we have the story of a fig tree that is discovered without fruit. Barren. Useless. The fig tree was often used to symbolize God’s chosen people, Israel, but in this instance it is symbolic of the entire people of God without respect of person, nationality, economoic status, or gender. Young people here we have a tree in the vineyard, surrounded by life, flourishing foliage, luscious greens, plentiful fruit trees ripe with fruit, and green green grass. A man is walking with the vineyard owner and he stops at this tree and says hey man, what...