Ask, pray, believe, forgive, receive
Mark 11: 20-25
20 Early next morning, as they walked along the road, they saw the fig tree. It was dead all the way down to its roots. 21 Peter remembered what had happened and said to Jesus, “Look, Teacher, the fig tree you cursed has died!”
22 Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 I assure you that whoever tells this hill to get up and throw itself in the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 For this reason I tell you: When you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for. 25 And when you stand and pray, forgive anything you may have against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will forgive the wrongs you have done.”
I always feel a bit sorry for the poor fig-tree. It is as if it is used as an illustration, a prop, and summarily discarded.
It isn’t even the season for figs.
Why is Jesus upsetting the natural order of things?
He has just upset the tables in the Temple, literally.
Now he is setting out a new order –
ask and you will receive,
believe and you will be rewarded,
forgive and you will be forgiven.
Away with the sacrifices,
the comfort zone –
All those years before, Ruth promised “Your God will be my God” -
and that was enough.
Her loyalty did not keep her in a comfortable rut,
but sent her on an unknown journey, to an unknown future,
with the God who says
“Behold, I make all things new”.
We are so thirled to our old ways,
we mistake comfort and inertia
for loyalty and faithfulness.
Open our eyes
to see you doing a new thing
in our world and in our lives,
opening new paths for our feet,
leading us onward
by your own faithful and everlasting love.