The Fig Tree in Bloom, by Katie Snipes Lancaster
Jesus told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that God’s kingdom is near.” Luke 21:29–31
Reflection: We live in a world seeming out of sync with God’s vision. We trust the God who is with us amid the suffering of the world, but we also rely on God’s deepest longing for peace, love, thriving, and repair. We weep when we witness a shooting at the subway station in New York City, a war beyond imagining unfolding week after week in Ukraine, and the everyday sorrows of our own lives filled with unexpected loss, diagnosis, pain, struggle, uncertainty.
In this parable, Jesus is asking us to pay attention. He is reminding us that we know how to read the signs. We’ve seen the buds reach out from the twig-like branches of winter-bare trees. We’ve seen the leafy green of tulips pushing up from the ground. We read the earth’s signs of spring and live in anticipation. The same is true, Jesus reminds us, as we watch for God’s kingdom. Watch. Wait. Anticipate. Trust. Winter turns to spring. The impossible becomes possible. The suffering ebbs toward gentleness. The war recedes toward peace. Day after day, hour after hour, there are clues that point the way toward the fullness of God’s reign, God’s vision, God’s realm. May we see. May we watch. May a window into the sacred open for us.
Open our eyes to your realm, O God. Amen.