Tree of life


I don’t often speak very directly of my faith on this blog, nor of what I get up to at church.  On some Sunday mornings, I sing with the worship band.  Sometimes I am ‘merely’ a member of the congregation.  And on other weeks, I am involved with the children, either helping with or teaching one of our Sunday school classes.  At the moment, the group I am involved with is (with the exception of me as a leader) entirely female.  Quite how the members of my church manage it, I do not know, but children seem to come in gender waves – a year or two of boys, followed by a year or two of girls.  We’re currently in the ‘girls’ part of the cycle in the crèche as well as in my group.  But that isn’t really relevant.

For the last few weeks, my group has been looking at bits of the book of Revelation.  Not my idea, and not something that happens very often in Sunday school, really.  We (or rather they, as I haven’t been there every week) haven’t been examining tribulations or battles, but some of the images from the last few chapters, which have been getting both the kids and the leaders thinking.  My task this week, one of my rare weeks of leading rather than helping, was to look at the last chapter (number 22).  As we also have preparations for the inevitable nativity play under way, I didn’t have very long, so the focus was essentially on verse 2 of the chapter.  In the King James Version (which I love for literary reasons but don’t use for my own devotions, normally, and definitely not for Sunday school), this reads :

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

I was struck by how awesome an image this is.  A tree that is in fruit all year round.  In the context of eternity, this means a tree which never stops bearing fruit.  Whether this is different types of fruit or not, this is a beautiful picture of heaven – never-ending provision and abundance, a constant knowledge of God’s presence, care and love.  And leaves for the healing of nations – an end to every ill and wrong, whether that be physical, mental, emotional or physical.  And for everyone – the nations means the whole world, with no barrier of race or gender.   In this world, I can doubt God’s love so easily, but in the world to come, there will be no doubt.  Not ever.  What a mind-blowing thought.

  1. These verses are some of my favourite lines of the whole Bible, particularly “and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations”. Such a beautiful, hope-filled, image.

    • Trish
    • November 22nd, 2010

    Have just read the last two chapters of Revelations. There is so much in it to ponder and try to understand. Especially the tree of life.

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