Since we had to cancel church due to the thin, but dangerous ice coating, I am thinking about my message concerning the Tree of Life. The more I read and study scripture, the more I realize the significance of the symbolism.
Today, we are confined due to the ice, but that does not confine our hearts and minds. The Tree of Life symbolizes two concepts: The Church that continues to carry Jesus’ teachings on through time and eternal life.
The Church is not the denomination, The Church is the work of the faithful who see all the ways to love one another. We were watching the news and caught an add from Massachuettes Mutual Insurance. The entire ad clearly documented all the good that is done all around this country when one loves one another. It was so impressive.
Sadly, the message had to be funded by a corporation, but the message is worth every penny spent in making and airing it. Thank you to Mass Mutual for doing so. We need a reminder of all the good that does exist in our world.
In the stained glass window now installed at Leawood, KS’s Church of the Resurrection, the Tree of Life is surrounded by all the saints that continued carrying Jesus’ message of loving one another throughout history. The Church is alive and it is something that we are quick to forget or to overlook.
The Tree of Life also has a second symbolic message–eternal life. This is a sticky subject for many, but as I step outside into the natural world of the ice covered yard, the birds singing, the sun trying to peak out, and the breeze (even when it is only 16 degrees), I am renewed with the knowledge that even in the depth of winter, new life does exist.
Eternal life is no mystery for me. Eternal life is a life cycle. There is birth, earthly existence, death and then eternity. I cannot look up to the night sky and see all the possibility of life beyond my human understanding. I cannot accept that when this human form dies, the spirit dies. I believe.
The Tree of Life stands firm in my life. I look at the Celtic images and see the unending knot woven into their designs and I feel a sense of peace. I study the Celtic Tree of Life and understand how complex and promising the life cycle that it represents. And I thank God for getting to live this life and for the promise that remains.
Lent begins this week and I find it difficult to see these next few weeks filled with depressive thoughts and sorrow. I anticipate the renewal of life as winter ends and spring begins. Still, I suppose, we all need time to reevaluate our lives and consciously reflect on how we have lived and how we can improve. Therefore, I will work to prepare sermons based the Old Testament families who struggled to remain faithful and whose life experiences provide us today with lessons on remaining faithful to God and following Jesus’ teaching to love one another.
Winter has its grip on us today with the coating of ice, but the mind never has to be frozen. Use today to add to your own understanding of God’s messages. Look closely at the Tree of Life in all its visual representations shared on the web, and find hope.