The Tree of Life

 

Those of you with long memories may recall that at the time of the Diamond Jubilee I published an article about the offspring the ancient yew, at Crowhrust.  In the aftermath of the First World War one was sent to the Cambridge Botanic Gardens, one to the writer, Rudyard Kipling at Burwash, and one to Queen Mary at Sandringham.  I had recently been in touch with the Sandringham estate about the Crowhurst yew.  The yew flourished for many years on an island within the lake, but unfortunately died and had to be felled in 1974.

 

It is always rather sad when a distinguished tree has to come down.  Some of you still remember the old Catsfield oak (felled in 1960), which was said to date back to the Norman invasion.

 

Trees, as we have increasingly come to realize are something we can’t do without.  Not only do they look wonderful, but they provide oxygen, homes for wildlife, produce food, can be used for fuel, offer the raw materials for paper and provide wood.

 

Sometimes the cross is referred to as a tree in the Bible.  St Peter, the chief apostle, talked about how Jesus ‘bore our sins in his body on the tree’. (1 Peter 2:24)  Apart from being made of wood the cross may not appear to have much in common with a tree.  A good tree, however, bears fruit and the cross also brought forth amazing things.

 

On the cross Jesus took on the bully of death and defeated it publicly by rising to life three days later on the first Easter morning.  The cross is indeed a tree of life, because we can share in the fruit of that victory too.  Adam and Eve received their marching orders for eating of the tree of knowledge, but the fruit of the tree of the cross reopens the way to paradise.

 

Father Michael

 

Posted By: valerie

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