They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit. – Jeremiah 17:8
Our church – Wake Forest Presbyterian – has the image of a tree as its logo. It’s supposed to be a graphic facsimile of the oak people first met under when WFPC was originally organized. There is a lot of great theology in the concept, and our church mission statement is built around the idea.
- “Rooted in Christ.”
- “Growing together in faith.”
- “Reaching out to others.”
Well, if there’s anything that defines our church, it’s all of the above. Our people are rooted, they are faithful, and they reach out with love.
This is also true for the good folk who work at WFPC. We have been here almost seven years now, and – a piece at a time – the puzzle that is assembling a great church staff has been put together. This summer we have even added a full-time position in AV/technology.
So Rebekah, as one of her vacation projects, worked hard to gift each of these amazing women and men with an imaginative “thank you” for all their continued creative, faithful, innovative hard work thus far during the pandemic.
Her solution was to blend the idea of our church logo with the timeless inspirational vision of “The Tree of Life.” She searched high and low and purchased art work from all over the world (two came from the Czech Republic, another from Dublin, Ireland). Then, once it had arrived, she framed every piece. It was a real labor of love.
I am sharing this today for several reasons. First, the art Rebekah found – hand-crafted from metal, glass, wood, fabric, paper, enamel, and more – is beautiful, and I wanted to share these photographs. Then, I want as many people as possible to know how deeply Rebekah and I appreciate and value the creative work that is going on, every day, through WFPC. In that same vein, this is a challenge to other pastors to think about their staff and what they can do to say “thank you” to them. Finally, the meaning behind the “Tree of Life” symbol is a great devotional message for today.
God’s creative, life-charged, healing initiatives of love and light are ongoing and more needed in this world than ever before.
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. – Revelation 22:2
The healing of the nations. My healing. Your healing. Our healing – DEREK