Pictured here is our "Tree of Life, a tea light candelabra. At the beginning of worship, we share our joys and concerns, light the tea lights, and then pray. It is amazing to me the things that people have on their hearts when they come to worship, and what a blessing to be able to share it with others. That is an advantage of being in a smaller congregation, where we can take the time to share..
The Sunday joys and concerns are a bit different from our Wednesday evening joys and concerns, as we have more children who share on Wednesday. It is an absolute delight to hear what is on the hearts and minds of children and who or what they want to lift up in prayer. Pets have come up numerous times, as well as concerns for teachers and grandparents.
Why do we name it the Tree of Life? It's mentioned in the Bible, first in Genesis at the beginning of the Bible. We are used to hearing about the tree of knowledge of good and evil with its forbidden fruit of which the humans were not to eat. However, there was also the tree of life in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:9), which fruit gave eternal life Gen 3:22). Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden before they could eat of its fruit.
The tree of life is again mentioned at the end of the Bible, in Revelation 22:2, with John's vision of heaven,... "On either side of the river of the water of life stands the tree of life, with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations."
What a wonderful thought to have a tree with leaves for healing! We hope that the prayers lifted up as we light our Tree of Life, will be healing and comforting.
Thanks be to God that we have the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
If you have any joys or concerns that you'd like me to lift up for you with our Tree of Life at our next worship, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blessings on your week,