Saturday, May 19, 2007

Like a Tree

Our neighbor has trees, lots of trees: Ecalyptus, California oak, palms, pines, apple, orange, tangerine, lemon, avocado. I am still in wonder at a land where things grow all year long, eveni without rain. It's likely that we will not get rain here until November, heightening fears of fire and drought. But along this shelf of the coast where Santa Barbara is perched, there is an abundance of green due to the heavy moisture in the marine layer fog that rolls in each evening and blankets us with grey until about 4 pm, when the sun explodes and burns away the clouds for a few hours till sunset.
But there has to be more than just the moisture in the air. These big trees send down their roots into this clay-ish soil and find the underground strems and trickles that come down from the mountains behind us. They have their source of life that does not come from th rain or watering hoses. They have deep roots.
The altar-piece I am preaching in front of tomorrow is a creative depiction of Psalm 1; a tree planted by streams of water, yielding its fruit in season, without withering leaves. The key to that fresh life is meditating...on God's Word day and night.
This past week a group of us gathered to reimagine Adult Sunday School. One of the questions I asked the group was "When were you most deeply shaped by a Sunday School you attended?" One man looked out the window wistfully and said: "It was Mr. ___ and all he did was teach the Word, the pure Word. Boy, did I grow!"
May I be a meditator day on night on that same word, that pure, life-giving word.


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