As you read the following parable, put yourself in the story – be the vineyard owner, be the gardener, and be the fig tree; in doing so take note of the different feelings that arise as you change positions.

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.’” Luke 13:6-9

Now ask, ‘where is justice in this story?’ I suggest that we may find justice in the sustainable practices of the gardener – nourishing that which appears a loss. Investing in the lost goes against some of our strongest inclinations of what it means to make a wise investment. This week, as we consider our missions, let us consider where we may invest in nourishing and sustaining that which might initially appear to be an unwise investment, the most needy in our community.