What are you like
This blank and rejecting generation?
What words can be used
To describe you?
You are children
Playing market games
In market squares
Complaining to your friends
You did not dance to a happy jig
You did not weep for the sad lament
And those that live
Not the drinking types
And those that live
Life to the full
Poor choice of fellows
Possessed by spirits too
Damned if you do
Damned as you are
But the lives of the accused
Will express the wisdom
Now we could all learn a lesson from The Fig Tree Restaurant. When its tables are put out on the pavement and the smell of baked bread wafts onto street, you know that opening time is near. And when they are tidying the place up with extra detail, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the owner is due to return. Some of you here will be eating at this fine restaurant when the owner comes to inspect his investment. Today’s food may be cooked and eaten and will disappear, but the truth remains. No-one knows when the owner will come to see his restaurant, not the day or the time. Not even the manager or the chef, or his own family know. Only the owner knows.
An entrepreneur opened a restaurant on the high street called “The Fig Tree”. He would visit it every month to see if it was making a profit, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his manager, ‘I’ve waited eighteen months, and there still hasn’t been a penny of profit! I’m going to close it down. It’s just eating up my money and taking up space where a profitable shop could go.’
The manager answered, ‘Sir, give us one more chance. Just six more months and we’ll all put in extra effort on the marketing, the service and the food. If we’re in profit in six months, fine. If not, then you can close us down.’
The Kingdom of God is like a man who was infected with a virus and was sneezing.
Once or twice as he sneezed he caught the virus in a tissue and threw it away in the bin.
Other virus particles infected his neighbour, who took regular paracetamol and ibuprofen and did not develop symptoms.
He sneezed on people who had already had the same cold and their immune system choked out the virus.
But he kept sneezing and some virus particles fell on those not immune to it, and it produced viral symptoms that were thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as the man had!
Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.
The virus that was caught in the tissue represents those who are embarrassed to spread the message about the Kingdom. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the message meant for others. The person who caught the virus but suppressed the symptoms represents those who hear the message, immediately receive, but then resist and walk away. Since the virus doesn’t take hold they don’t display the symptoms of the Kingdom. The people who were immune to the virus had heard about the Kingdom before but didn’t believe its message could provide answers to the worries of this life and preferred the lure of wealth, so again no fruit of the Kingdom is produced. The virus that infected other people represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word through the pain, suffering and weakness of an individual and spreads like an outbreak producing Kingdom symptoms thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as the index case!
Matthew 13 v3-9, 19-23