the bridge… the tree of life

Footbridge on Lake Junaluska, July 11, 2012

Rebekah (she’s my awesome wife, if you didn’t already know) is pretty-much my biggest fan. She says encouraging stuff about my writing all the time. She not only says encouraging stuff, but she really means it.

She also likes my photography; but I could switch out the image I use for a blog header 20 times in a month and chances are she wouldn’t notice. Until, that is, the current image – of a bridge in grainy, rainy half-light – came up just a couple of weeks ago. She says it’s the best header ever.

I took the photograph with my iPhone, during a light rain, in the early evening on a walk around Lake Junaluska in North Carolina. In fact (and hedging against the probability that I will, at some point in the future, replace my header image) I’ll paste in the photograph above, in the body of the text, so you can see the entire thing.

Rebekah says she likes the picture because it’s a theological truth without the need for words.

WORDS: But this is a blog post, and there’s always a need of words; so let’s talk about that truth a little:

I’ve been reading the first few chapters of the book of Genesis, and the sad story of how an ever-widening separation was set between the Creator and the creation. When Jesus, in the Gospel of Luke, tells the parable about Lazarus and the rich man, he described this separation as,”A great gulf, fixed.”

But something most amazing happened. A bridge has been constructed across that great gulf, and that bridge is Jesus. We’re not talking about a mysterious passage into the afterlife; instead, this is a conversation about a bridge that leads to life now.

I love this passage from Revelation 22:  “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

HEALING: My understanding of this connection is immediate. We have access to the pure river of the water of life now, and we have access to the tree that is available for the healing of the nations. Jesus is the bridge, and Jesus is the tree of life too. We know that Jesus offers the life that is truly life, we just have to live into it.

It’s all about intentionality, this bridge. It’s about making the choice to put one foot in front of the other and cross over to Jesus. And the answer is life. It may look misty and hard to grasp from here, but the invitation is clear as can be. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” Jesus said.

The Way, the Truth, and the Life….

“I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father. If you had known me, you would have known the Father. But from now on, you do know him, and you have seen him

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need.” Jesus replied: “Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don’t you know who I am?” (John 14:6-9)

– DEREK

 

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