Union Ridge Church

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

by Reverend Dan on December 9, 2020

For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.

Job 14:7


Pop quiz time: other than God and people, what is the most mentioned living thing in the Bible?


You ready? Trees.


Thirty-seven different variety of trees are mentioned over 300 times. After the creation, the first story in Genesis involves two trees: The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In fact, one-third of the sentences in the first three chapters of Genesis contain a tree.


There is a tree in the first Psalm and on the last page of Revelation. Whenever God is instructing people how to make things (candlesticks, corbels, robes), the standard of beauty is the tree and its fruit. There are trees in the bible that clap their hands, shout for joy, and argue. They make doorways that blood is placed on for the Passover, and Judas hung himself on a tree. There’s even a tree in the Bible that stands on both sides of a river. And Paul says that if you’ve ever been for a walk in the woods, there’s no excuse for not believing in God.


And finally (well, not really, not for Christ anyway), it was a tree that was the kryptonite (for three days) for Jesus. Throughout his life they tried to kill Him as a baby, stone Him, throw Him off a cliff but none of it worked. And forget drowning Him – He’d just walk out. But two pieces of a tree nailed together was what did in the carpenter’s son.


All of which leads me to one question: if trees are so important, what is the theology of a tree?


For me, it’s simple. Trees are a reminder of God’s presence and promise for tomorrow. In fact, they’re so important to God, He gives them a new ring every year on their birthday. And they remind us of the circle and cycle of life. Leaves fall off now, the tree sleeps through the cold winter, new life blooms green and strong in the spring and summer, and next autumn it all begins again.


We will never see most of the trees planted in our lives grow to fruition. But that’s okay. They’re for the next generation. They are our belief that even after our time on earth is done, the world will continue to move toward that day when once again the tree of life will bloom for all eternity.


“Father, Thank you for the reminder of the circle of life, seen through the trees made with Your hand, AMEN.”


Christmas Bonus:

Apples and candles were the earliest known decorations for Christmas trees. Actors from medieval times used to decorate “paradise trees” with apples during “Paradise Plays” at Christmas time. These plays portrayed the creation and fall of Adam and Eve. It was the apple’s shape that inspired the round glass Christmas ornaments.