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.