Bread – Healing

November 22, 2013

Readings for Friday, November 22, 2013, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: *; Rev. 22:6-13; Matt. 18:10-20; Psalms 102,107:1-32


The other day I was driving and on the radio was some ad for some over-the-counter formulation based upon some kind of leaves from some kind of a tree in, I think, the Amazon (or maybe it was China). The ad spoke of the leaves’ remarkable properties to heal, restore, and protect some part of my digestive, circulatory, muscular, or nervous system. Just like penicillin came from mold, I was reminded that many of our great advances in medicine begin with some person realizing that a particular leaf, berry, seed, fruit, or natural product had healing properties.

Our reading today from Revelation begins with “And he said to me, ‘These words are trustworthy and true….” Rev. 22:6. What words? So I backed up to the beginning of Chapter 22 where I read “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Rev. 22:1-2

So part of what is true is that the throne of God and Jesus, the Lamb, gush forth the water of life, the Holy Spirit. This water nourishes the tree of life which in turn produces leaves which contain the medicine by which the nations are healed.

I believe that this is literally true, that there is a tree of life watered by the water of life which proceeds from the throne of God. But it also struck me that the “tree” is on both sides of the river. There is only one way that this can be physically, in my limited understanding, and that is by the tree bridging the river (part of the tree is on each side). However, there is nothing in the passage to indicate that the water of life runs under or through the tree. It could, but there may also be another way of thinking about this.

See, the tree of life could be me. And it could be you. Although we may be on opposite banks, the water of life can refresh us equally.

If you think about being a tree of life for a moment, you realize that you may be the only tree of life someone ever sees, touches, or talks to. You may be the person whom they see producing fruit on a regular basis, month by month, day by day. They may see that your embodiment, your persona, your character, your actions, your behavior, your leaves are for their healing and the healing of the nation.

Are we producing good fruit in and out of season, every day of every month of every year? Are we covered with attributes, characters, personalities, and features which are for the nations and which can be used by God for that purpose? Are we a tree of life to our family, our friends, our co-workers, our authorities?

We can be, if we drink constantly from the waters of life which proceed from the Father and the Son.

There is a great bald cypress tree in my yard. The nature of these trees is that they grow large and strong when they can tap into water, and they aggressively seek out that water. I think my cypress tree has tapped into my city water supply.

If our leaves look withered and our bark is peeling and our growth is stunted, maybe it is because we have not sought out the only water which truly feeds us.

Search today for that living water so that you might be a tree of life to others. It’s there. It’s running down the middle of our lives if we have but eyes to see and ears to hear.


© 2013 GBF


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