14 day plan

Tree Tales

Series Introduction: Adorning our church site used to be a glorious Liquidambar. But several years ago, tree loppers were summoned to decapitate, sever limb-from-limb, and chip this spectacular noxious weed. Like many recorded in the annals of the church, she met death in the prime of life. Roots were lively (too lively), leaves were lush. She fruitlessly fought back with stately strength … until a mound of sweet-smelling chips marked her grave; until poison had positively exterminated every bit of rooted life. Finally, tilers erased her ever-existence from the site. And we, the church, washed our hands of a growing predicament. I missed the tree. It had so poignantly represented new life at the Old Cathedral, hinting at Spring with a cheerful neon-green fling while Melbournians were still stiffly wrapped in black winter scarves. No more lacey neutral shade over mumbled lunch-time conversations. I missed her Autumn annual debut of reckless abandon, her cacophony of colour … and then the reluctant shedding of her frock to the wintry winds of each bygone year. But it is better that over-lively trees do not go hand in hand with old church buildings. For, after all, there’s more to a tree than meets the eye. Which made me think … like trees, there’s more to a church than meets the eye. Right? Allegorising a truer story (for all the church’s glitter and glory), are vexations of aggressive root systems, spiny seed balls and piles of decomposing leaves. However, nested in a far grander story, is the Church’s union and communion throughout history — her perennial pruning, chopping … even slaughter. It’s a story that, with saints that have gone before, expresses faith in the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Author: Sarah Raiter
You'll now find Sarah empty-nesting at St James Old Cathedral where Mike and she live and worship. https://containingcolor.wordpress.com