Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

June/Training for Mission

14 June 2010

We read in the most noble opening of Genesis that Paradise was planted by the Lord in the beginning, from whose spring the four rivers flow, and in whose flowering midst is the tree of life whose leaves, bringing health to the peoples, do not fall, and whose fertile delights cannot be told.

- Columcille, Altus Prosator (Irish, 6th century)

...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.

- Revelation 22.2

This excerpt demonstrates both the poetical power and theological acumen of Columcille. In one stanza he collapses all of history - creation to new creation - and all of Scripture - Genesis 1, 2 to Revelation 22 - into a single idea, organized around the Tree of Life. This is the way God sees creation, time, history, and His redemptive economy - collapsed into a solid, rhythmic space where all His decrees come to pass in His way and time.

Note too the change in verb tenses - from "was" in the first part of the stanza to "do not fall" and "cannot be told" (present tenses) at the end. Columcille has brought all of God's original design for the creation forward to the present, along with all the future hope of the new heavens and new earth. This emphasizes the certainty of what God has promised and will do.

Imagine how such a way of thinking of the whole of history would have encouraged and emboldened a young recruit preparing to go off on mission! God's will is perfect and sure! What He has ordained cannot fail! And we are commissioned and privileged to carry this glorious Good News to the world! No wonder those thousands of young people didn't fail!

Friends, our vision is simply too small. We tend to see the life of faith only in terms of what's in it for us; how is trusting Jesus going to help me today? But the faith of Christ is a faith for all times, all people, all healing, and all fruitfulness. We are the ambassadors of that faith to the world, beginning in our own Personal Mission Fields. Let us be encouraged by the example of our forebears and the certainty of God's Word to go in Jesus' Name with the greatest news anyone could ever hope to hear!

To whom will you take this Good News today?

Today in ReVision: The False Hope of Politics - Meanwhile, no change in government will heal what ails this nation.

This Week's Download: Faithfulness in Ministry - Pastor, make some copies of this for your pastor friends, and sit down and discuss it together.

Get your copy of The Legacy of Patrick and discover how the Celtic revival can enlarge your vision for the life of faith.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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