What If…

fig tree
A picture taken by my sister with me and a young fig tree, an offshoot of the larger fig tree to the right of the picture.

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And with the larger fig tree!

Some reflections with an imagination partner in response to my “What Commission?” sermon…

Imagination partner: I did get to thinking that…what if…Jesus was a spoiled “hangry” brat who discovered—as if for the first time—that his people had always lived among barren fruits. Outraged, he cursed, and the elders looked at each other to say, “The man-child doesn’t know that the tree has been dead his entire lifetime….” Perhaps it was this same so-called “holy rage” that engulfed Moses, such that he only knew to strike in the way of Empire…. Perhaps the choice is not the false binary between “now or later”…. Oy, if every day is kairos day, then every day is someone’s Good Friday and someone else’s Easter…?

Me: That is a wonderful “what-if” and opens up many postcolonial possibilities. I think you’re absolutely right, and we are challenged to be all the more vigilant in our discipleship (to be students of one another) as a result… in part of my research for the text, an author suggested that maybe the dead fig tree was a fixture in the landscape for a long time, and that the stories of Jesus and the fig tree arose from that, an illustration drawing from a common sight. I am now thinking that in such an old city as St. Louis, how many fixtures we see that we ignore and forget, and what it would mean to reexamine them…

…and similar to your previous challenge to me, who has lived in our communities as “fixtures” who deserve to be seen in their full life as a source of wisdom and knowledge about the past and the future…?

What are your what-if reflections?

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