Conversation Starters for Small groups/personal reflection
Have you ever uttered those words, (or heard someone else utter them), “What have I done to deserve this?!” What picture or belief about God might these words show? A vindictive God? An angry God? A God who does not mind inflicting suffering on us? An untrustworthy God – a God who you never really know and can’t trust for keeping you out of trouble….?
People of Jesus’ day had the same question we have about God’s trustworthiness when tragedy or cruelty are part of our life experience. They ask Jesus what he thinks about those two events that people knew about in our text….How do you view other people when they are experiencing great tragedy or injustice and cruelty? is is their fault? Is God involved? Should God do more to help? Comparing sins is never very helpful. You wither end up in despair at your own weakness and sin or feeling superior to others whose sin has got the better of them.
Jesus just calls us to face him one-on-one and give our sin to him and trust his grace that covers our sin. Have you had an experience of this grace?
The Gracious Gardner gives us more time to face him and live in his garden with roots deep in his grace. Instead of cutting us down, which he would have every authority and right to do, he waits on us, tends us, gives as another chance, more time to grow in his love and grace. This is no angry vindictive judging God. This is the Divine judge of us all allowing his mercy and grace to triumph out of love for us – the Gracious Gardener…..
How can we be gracious gardeners for others? Or, how can we bear fruit of the Spirit for people in our lives like that young couple I mentioned?