Submitted by Jan on Tue, 23/02/2016 – 11:35
3rd Sunday in Lent
Year C (2015-2016)
Bible Book: Luke
Chapter: 13
Verse: 1 – 9

“The battle against AIDS is not a last decade issue, it’s going to be the next decade issue. We need to finish the job, get new companies, new interest. It’s kind of annoying and sometimes upsetting that these global health issues can become creatures of fashion. People think AIDS is done – it’s not done.”

Bono’s words, spoken in a modern context, match well with the text in Luke where Jesus tells the parable of the man with the fig tree that was not bearing fruit.

Those of us who are involved in the field of HIV and AIDS cannot afford to sit back and think this is a “last decade issue”. People are still infected and families and communities affected every day – 30+ years on – and so our work is not yet done.

There is a stern warning in the text – God has called us to a task and it is our duty to produce the fruit, otherwise He will cut us down. Lip service is not sufficient; an annual frenzy of slogans, posters and T-shirts on World AIDS Day is not sufficient; continuing to believe that HIV and AIDS “is not our problem, it’s out there, in other people’s communities” is not sufficient; reducing funding and support in the belief that this is a last decade issue is not sufficient.

The Gardener who planted us for the purpose of producing fruit is checking for these fruits on a regular basis. He needs to see us fulfilling our responsibility by speaking the truth in love, He needs to see the dignity and worth of every human being upheld in our relationships, and He needs to see us in service to others through practical acts of love and compassion.

If God sees these fruits in our lives, He will be well pleased.

To think about: What fruits are you producing? Are you producing fruits, or are you in danger of being cut down? Actively work at producing the fruits that will please the Gardener, and that will ensure that HIV and AIDS remain a next decade issue.

Written by: Janine Ward (Co-CEO, Jewels of Hope) and Asset-Based Community Development Trainer and trained ‘Churches, Channel of Hope’ Facilitator.

Author: Ward J (Ms)