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Showing posts from March, 2016

Life Between The Trees: New Jerusalem (Easter Sunday) - Revelation 22:1-7

We’ve been journeying through the trees for eleven weeks now.  It is only fitting that we reach the conclusion of our journey in New Jerusalem on Easter Sunday.  We began exploring life between the trees in Eden.  There we encountered the twin trees of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life.  With those trees we were given the gift of Free Will, the ability to choose God’s Way, which leads to life, or our own way, which is sin and leads to death. From there we considered the Olive Tree…with the olive branch the dove brought to Noah we are reminded that God will sustain us and save us from the floods of this life, even the flood of sin that seeks to drown us…the olive tree also becoming the symbol that Paul uses to describe how we are grafted into the people of God through Christ. With the prophet Ezekiel we found the Cedar Tree, the Cedar tree reminding us that God’s promises will not be made null and void, not even by our sin.  God will keep His promises, among them, makin…

An Idle Tale (Easter Sunrise) - Luke 24:1-12

Once upon a time, in the middle of winter, when the flakes of snow were falling like feathers from the sky, a queen sat at a window sewing… Wait…wrong story… A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Wait…wrong story again… Hey guys, we went to that tomb that Nick and Joe buried Jesus.  When we got there we saw that the stone was moved.  We went in to look around, relieved that we were not going to have to move that huge rock.  We were ready to pour out the burial spices upon Jesus’ body, but his body was not there.  We were trying to figure out what was going on…maybe we were looking in the wrong spot or even had come to the wrong tomb…could someone have stolen the body.  We even wondered if maybe one of y’all had moved it.  It was then that two men suddenly appeared right there amongst us.  They were just about glowing…Peter, it reminded me of what you said it was like when y’all saw Jesus with Elijah and Moses.  They near ‘bout scared us to death.  Wouldn’t that have been a fine thing…

Life Between The Trees: The Cross (Palm/Passion Sunday) - John 19:16b-30

“When Christ was on earth, the dogwood grew / To a towering size with a lovely hue. / Its branches were strong and interwoven, / And for Christ's cross its timbers were chosen. “Being distressed at the use of the wood, / Christ made a promise which still holds good: / 'Never again shall the dogwood grow / To be large enough for a tree, and so, / Slender and twisted it shall always be, / With cross-shaped blossoms for all to see. “'The petals shall have bloodstains marked brown, / And in the blossom's center a thorny crown. / All who see it will think of me, / Nailed to a cross from a dogwood tree. / Protected and cherished this tree shall be, / A reflection to all of my agony.'” What a beautiful poem that many of us have heard through our lives, especially living here in North Carolina, where dogwoods reign as the official state tree.   Today, we come near the end of our sermonic journey of “Life Between The Trees,” remembering that the scripture, and life itself is a…

Life Between The Trees: Mustard Mark 4:30-32

When I was in middle school and began learning about matter, I remember being taught about atoms, figuring they were the smallest particle.Later I learned that atoms were made up of protons and neutrons and electrons, meaning the basic building blocks of matter were even smaller.However, though they have been theorized since before I was born, it was only a few years ago I began hearing about something that was even smaller than all those protons, neutrons, and electrons, quarks.Each proton and neutron within an atom of matter is made up of three quarks.Quarks, known by their flavors of up, down, top, bottom, strange and charm, are now the smallest particle of matter that has been observed.Without the quark, which is so small none of us can see it, there would be nothing to see.
Without quarks, there would be no trees to see as we journey in our “Life Between the Trees”.In our journey, which is fast drawing to a close, we have been moving from Eden to New Jerusalem.We have considered t…

Life Between The Trees: The Sycamore Tree - Luke 19:1-10

They are a precious gift as part of God’s creation.They are serve as symbols our faith, reminders of God’s promises, and place markers God’s faithfulness.As we journey between Eden and New Jerusalem, we have found the gift of Free Will in the dual trees of Eden; the promise of God’s sustaining and recusing presence in the olive tree; the assurance that God’s promises cannot be thwarted with the cedar tree; the call to sacrificial hospitality under the oak; the reminder to trust in God to bring the victory as we encountered the palm; we discovered God’s comforting and providential presence under the broom tree; and the fig tree called us to turn from lives consumed with what Paul would call the works of the flesh, leaving us barren, to lives that fully bear the fruit of the Spirit.How many of you are ready to be called a tree hugger now?
As Jesus journeyed between the trees, he passed through Jericho.There, Jesus encountered a tree-hugger.Zacchaeus was a tree hugger, though he was a tre…