Luke 13 : 6-9
A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none. He said to the vine dresser, Behold, these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and found none. Cut it down. Why does it waste the soil? He answered, 'Lord, leave it alone this year also, until I dig around it, and fertilize it. If it bears fruit, fine; but if not, after that, you can cut it down.

The parable tells of God's longing for Israel to recognise reality
to stop its inward focus and bear fruit, as the vines around are doing.
The parable portrays Jesus, Christianity, as Israel's last chance.
it sees Jesus as the gardener, offering new life, fertiliser.
If this doesn't work, it is the end of all.

Maybe we can project this onto a wider stage.
Maybe Christianity has failed to change the world.
Maybe the fertiliser did not work;
The Kingdom of God is still not
reflected in how we behave.

Has it worked, or do we face extinction?
As we are faced with the threats of climate change,
DNA mutation, global pandemic and atomic proliferation,
do we see the hand of God at work?

One more chance pleads the gardener
Yet every loved new growth mutates into hatred, division,
conquest in the name of its founder despite his good intent.
The empires of state and church deny God's Kingdom.
The poverty gap in society rejects the Beatitudes.
Is it not time for gardener's axe?