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  the leaves
    the tree

The leaves are beginning to change colour and soon the trees, bereft of their past beauty, will reveal the wonderful shape of boles and shrubs standing out - awaiting a new spring!

Meanwhile, here in the UK, we are getting used to the shortening of the days and the changes in climate as we prepare to enter the winter season.

Does God appreciate the beauty of the earth? The writers of the first creation account in Genesis said, 'God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.'

However, when God planted a garden in the east, in Eden - as the Genesis story tells us - in the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which ran into problems!

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."

We know the result of that experiment which takes us from the creation through the Old and New Testament until we reach the last chapter of the Revelation of John the Divine.

Then 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 ...And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

It is a heady mix! - between the cosmology of the Genesis myth and the rushing waters of a seismic renewal of life according to Revelation.

Many Old Testament allusions were copied into the book of Revelation, for instance in Ezekiel -

Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing."

While we are daily immersed in a down to earth understanding of our own flesh and blood, it is the presence of the Christ, the Son of man, among us and centred in the cosmos, who is 'the healing of the nations'-

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. ... This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1: 27)

© Aelred Arnesen

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