“Then [Jesus] told them a story: “A man had an apple tree planted in his front yard. He came to it expecting to find apples, but there weren’t any. He said to his gardener, ‘What’s going on here? For three years now I’ve come to this tree expecting apples and not one apple have I found. Chop it down! Why waste good ground with it any longer?’
“The gardener said, ‘Let’s give it another year. I’ll dig around it and fertilize, and maybe it will produce next year; if it doesn’t, then chop it down.” Luke 13:6-9, The Message
Sometimes young people, like older folks, think there are easy answers in life. They imagine that all we have to do is to be in the right place at the right time, and we’ll win the lottery and strike it rich, or pick our mate out of the air like magic, or successfully and effortlessly navigate a career, have 2.5 perfect children, enjoy the biggest house, drive the fanciest car, etcetera, etcetera. You get the idea.
I hate to burst your bubble, but that’s not how life works.
Jesus knew that, and so do we. Which is where our Scripture comes in. Personally, I hope I’m never a tree that gets chopped down. Maybe some of you can relate. Which brings us to Lent.
I don’t know how you feel about it, but I think it’s great that we’re in this time of Lent, the 40 days (less Sundays) before Easter. Since ancient times, Lent has been an extended time of introspection for Christian people, and an excellent opportunity to consider what God has in store for us and our church. Such opportunities might seem kind of scary, given the impact of the coronavirus and all, but this Lent as we prepare for Easter, I hope we consider how we might grow together and be renewed in the faith.
And how do we do that? Through Baptism, confirmation and membership. It’s time.
Baptism, that sacred, meaningful sacrament of our faith symbolized by water, is the first step on the road to discipleship. Baptism is a sign of new birth, the door through which one enters the church. To become a Christian is to receive a new identity in Christ. Baptism marks our becoming that new person. It’s what Jesus did, and we do too! Is anyone in your family not baptized yet? We can help with that. In the Methodist Church, folks of all ages—infants to seniors—may be baptized.
We’re also offering our first online “Confirmation Crash Course 2021,” which will be held via Zoom on the Sunday afternoons of March. All ages are welcome. Learn more about our church and meet some of the people involved.
And membership? That’s when we say to God, “I’m all in!”
Are you all in?