Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Generosity of God

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.
So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.
If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”

Luke 13:1-9

Generosity and grace are akin. My mother Arnola Triplett was a great cook and I especially loved her cornbread. I remember once when she baked some cornbread and didn't allow me to eat it straight from the oven because she was not finished cooking and needed to go to the store for something. She gave me a small piece of the cornbread and then for some unknown reason placed the cornbread in the refrigerator and forbade me from getting anymore. Well, I couldn't resist the call of the cornbread and went into the refrigerator and grabbed a piece. When she returned she knew that someone had taken some of the cornbread. After denying that I ate the missing piece and almost causing my two sisters to also get a whipping I finally confessed. Fortunately, Momma let me off the hook and didn't whip me. It is my earliest memory of generosity or grace. I didn't get what i deserved.

WE all need grace at various points in our lives, don't we? We are all beneficiaries of generous helpings of gifts from God and others. These are gifts and we can never repay a person for a gift. We can only respond in gratitude and live lives that reflect generosity and grace.

Jesus found a barren fit tree that wasn't productive and should have been destroyed but he fertilized it more and gave it more time to produce. God is generous to us in the same manner. Why shouldn't we be generous as well?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, help me notice Your generosity and emulate You by being as generous with my gifts as You are with me. Amen.

-- Bishop James E. Swanson, Sr., MS Ann Conference

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer

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