“You will know them by their fruits”. Reminds me of the billboard proclaiming that God wants spiritual fruit not religious nuts. The photos here were all taken in this country but I’ve been amazed to discover how many times trees get mentioned in the Bible. I’m reflecting on a few of them in tomorrow’s services. Fruit trees appear in the Genesis story of creation – along with plants the first vegetation to appear on dry land, crucially containing seed. So the importance of seed was recognised all those years ago. To those of us used to buying seed in packets, and to those who take out patents on seeds, a bit more reflection wouldn’t go amiss.
In the book of Judges there’s a parable of trees looking to choose a king but each recognising that their own unique gifts are more important than lording it over the other trees. So the olive knows how important its oil is, the fruits of the fig are delicious, the vine produces wine which cheers gods and mortals. Finally the bramble agrees to be king – a mixed blessing which made the original listeners realise they hadn’t acted with the best of motives.
Trees are fascinating. They can be tiny and fragile, or huge and imposing. They can cling on in unlikely places, and the strongest looking once blown down in a gale can turn out to have surprisingly shallow roots. Lots of scope for parallels with human life. I’m tempted to suggest we all go outside tomorrow and choose a tree to look at or sit under. But I guess I’ll not go that far so I’d better go and write a bit more for the morning. Spiritual fruit, not religious nuts – better not get the seeds mixed up.