Trees are very useful and their wood can be made into many different things, Jesus was probably a carpenter Then I think of the stickers I see in the back windows of cars: Carpenter of Nazareth need joiners. Not only are we all called to serve but like the wood in the hands of Jesus, we can be crafted by Him for many uses in His Kingdom.
We remember the wooden boats in which Jesus sailed with His disciples and that the roofs of old churches have wooden beams that form the shape of a boat. They remind us that the churches like a boat floating over the troubled seas of life and in which Jesus is with us calming our fears and saying, “Peace be still.”
The Carpenter of Nazareth died on a cross made by others but it became a symbol of forgiveness and life.
I am sure that you can all continue to think of others stories about Jesus that involves wood.
There is one moral story with which I will end today that is itself a meditation on wood.
There was a church full of beautiful things made of gold and silver. One night, it was broken into and many of these valuable things were stolen.
Some of the less valuable things had been thrown around.
As the church warden wandered around the church yard, he noticed an old wooden bowl which had stood by the church door and had been used to hold holy water. It looks as if it had been kicked around like a football and was bruised and misshapen. However, the warden picked it up and that evening he spent time polishing it and cleaning it. It had been a gift from a parishioner who had given it as a memory of the pilgrimage which he had made to the Holy land and where he had bought it. It wasn’t expensive but made from the wood from the olive trees that grew in the garden of Eden. It told the story of Jesus and in that way, it was priceless.
The next Sunday, as the parishioners entered the church they noticed the gold and silver ornaments and statues were gone but the wooden bowl was back in its place. Battered and bruised it might be but it still held the holy water and proved to be useful for years to come.
What does this say to us about what we consider to be most valuable and which people we consider the most use in our church today.
THE LESSON FROM TREES
A friend of mine doesn’t go to church but she goes for long walks alone in the countryside. She says that it is there that she meets with God and where He speaks to her through the plants and animals and wonderful trees.
Today then, let us see the Gospel in Trees.
I love trees and this is what they say to me about God:
Like the oak, trees begin in small ways but grow into large structures that stand up tall seeming to be pointing to the skies and to God. This reminds me that the church began in a small way with twelve disciples but spread throughout the world. All of us as branches on that tree point others to God as we lift up holy hands in prayer and praise.
I am reminded of stories in our Bibles that include trees. There is the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden, the leaf from the olive tree that the dove brought back to the ark, the tree that God sent to shade Jonah, the tree that Zacchaeus climbed up in order to be able to see Jesus, the olive trees in Gethsemane and of course, the ‘tree on which our Saviour died. I am sure you can remember more.