"Adam and Eve's eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves." - Genesis 3:7
This is not a message I want to deliver, but the Bible leaves me no choice. There is no politically correct alternative.
Scripture is crystal clear.
An evil fiber source threatens the very fiber of our nation. When it comes to this fruit, God pulls no fruit punches. Despite what you've heard about who and what God hates, ficus carica tops the list.
I speak of… the fig.
Biblical cases in point:
What was the one and only tree ever cursed by Jesus? Fig tree. (Mark 11:14)
What did the prophet Jeremiah use to curse Zedekiah and his cohort? Figs. (Jeremiah 24:8)
What was the first thing Adam and Eve grabbed after disobeying God? Fig leaves. (Genesis 3:7)
For decades this scourge of creation has crept into children's lunchboxes cleverly disguised as a doughy cookie and named after the town of Newton, MA. We have been lulled into complacency, singing "Bring me a figgy pudding," at the holiest time of year unaware of the curse we bring upon ourselves. Self-avowed "fig-lovers" serve in government with impunity, claiming the Bible is only figurative (Hear that? Fig-urative!) unwittingly inviting more hurricanes to devastate our shores.
These are dark, sticky, times.
Join the movement.
Make yourself heard.
God hates figs!
Or maybe not.
Maybe this is just another example of being whipped into a frenzy of fear by a partial, narrow-minded reading of the Bible. Maybe we need to listen to the prophet breathing shalom into our hysteria (figsteria?) "And everyone shall live under their own vine and fig tree without fear" and cling to the words of the disciple Jesus loved, "Perfect love casts out fear."
Loving God, remind us that when we succumb to fear and fail to love we have failed You. Amen.
Matthew Laney is the Senior Minister of Asylum Hill Congregational Church, UCC, in Hartford, Connecticut.