Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tree of Life

Readings are here

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

This is the Collect for Sunday. I was taken by the imagery of trees - grafting, increase, nourishment, fruit. It assumes that we are the tree. A tree used for grafting has a strong base and root stock but needs a graft to make good fruit. To become a tree of life we need good grounding, nourishment, and a way to use that which we take in for the feeding of the world.

Another thought comes from reading an essay in AARP magazine - about a man whose believes his soul was saved and life given back to him working at Starbucks. He has been a high flying ad exec - was downsized - had a consulting business - that was going nowhere. He was having coffee at Starbucks and the manager asked him if he wanted a job. At first kidding but then serious - he joined the "partners." Through his life on the job with people that would never have crossed his path, doing everything from cleaning toilets to running the cash register - he learned compassion and love for himself that he had never known. An unexpected reversal like Jesus gives in the gospel.

The other thought I have is about the value and valuing of work as Monday is Labor Day in the USA.

And from Streams of Mercy

Sharing a table at Starbucks
Strangers chatting
on our separate ways
Later the barista
sweeps up feathers along with
crumpled napkins.

1 comment: said...

Like your message. The tree of live - each of us and more so when our limbs intertwine just as Christ's arms reach out to embrace us as we embrace one another. I am in an area that used to be total forest. No westward travel thro ms because of forest, wild animals, and yes, Indians. Too much has been cleared and my brothers and I are intent on keeping the hardwood on the land that we have even when we cut the pines. The same is true of our home place where the cypress used to be prolific and were sheered by the Corp of Engineers. We saved one cypress. Incidentally, cypress knees are amazing. Breathe on us breath of life and enrich our environment and your people. I had read the AARP article.