Jesus' Mercy Changes Me, We and the World

The Tree of Life

A friend recently posted a picture of the room where she meditates.  On the wall was The Tree of Life.  I sent her a picture of our Tree of Life (shown above) and explained to her that we got ours from Haiti and it was made from the lid of an oil drum.  Then I started thinking; What’s with the Tree of Life?

The tree of life is mentioned in the first book of the bible:

Genesis 2:9 New International Version (NIV)

The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

And in the last book of the bible:

Revelation 22:1-2 New International Version (NIV)

1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

There is also reference to the tree of life in Proverbs.  Is there some hidden message here?  Beats me.  I don’t have a clue.

I do find it curious that the tree of life image is not held only in the Abrahamic traditions.  The tree of life is found in ancient Slavic, Iranian and Mesopotamian cultures.  The tree of life refers to the Manifestation of God in the Baha’i Faith.  Buddhism and Chinese mythology hold the tree of life image.  The “Tree of Immortality” is the tree of life motif in Islam.  In North America the Iroquois, Ojibway and Oglala Lakota Sioux traditions have the tree of life motif.

The tree of life is a fundamental widespread archetype in many of the world’s mythologies, religious and philosophical traditions.  In Eastern Christianity, the tree of life is the love of God.  Now this is just me here talking now, but the human species communal connection to God through the ages and the diversity of God’s creation shows us just how big God’s love is because God loves his creation.  See Genesis 1:31.

Creator God help us to learn to love Your creation as You love.  Especially the part of creation created in Your image.  Amen.

Mark Autterson