13th April 2016

The Tree of Life 

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
John 14:6 (NIV)

As I sat waiting to be invited, along with my fellow church-goers, to take part in the communion service, I realized it was the first time in many years I was going up to the front without my husband, Ed. When was the last time we had taken communion together? I couldn’t remember, but it was his last time before he succumbed to cancer. We didn’t know it then, so many months ago, but it was.

We take communion more often now in our church, and that’s good. Taking the elements of bread and wine into our bodies, all together, remind us that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. And that all of us together are one in the body of Christ. How special is that?

All of this made me think of some other important symbols, such as the two trees in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were placed in this beautiful garden with all its fruit trees for their food and were given only one stipulation, that they not eat of the tree of good and evil. He did not restrict them from eating of the tree of life. They were free agents—they had freedom of choice. When they were tempted by Satan and chose to eat of the wrong tree, the way of death, only then were they restricted from eating of the tree of life.

Jesus Christ is named by the apostle Paul as the second Adam. Jesus, fully God and fully man, was also tempted by Satan, but resisted all his temptations and lived the perfect human life in our stead. All of us humans are also free agents. We also can choose death or life. When we choose to follow Jesus, we are choosing life.

Think about it. When we take communion and eat of the bread and drink of the wine, we are eating of the tree of life, our Saviour Jesus. He is our Tree of Life. Though we are taking these symbols more often now, we must never take this ceremony lightly. Always keep in mind when you eat that bread and drink that wine, you have turned away from Satan and the tree of death, and chosen to eat of the Tree of Life Eternal, Jesus Christ. Ed knew that.

Prayer
Thank you, Father, for giving us freedom of choice. Help us to make right choices, that lead to life. Thank you for the wonderful symbolism in scripture, that remind us whenever we take the bread and wine we are choosing to partake of the Tree of Life Eternal—Jesus Christ.
Amen

Study by Sheila Graham

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Sheila Graham 2016-01-08_11.07_01About the Author:
Sheila Graham attends a GCI congregation in The Colony in north Texas, USA. She assists in teaching Women in Leadership at the Grace Communion International Seminary, and is Senior Editor of Connections, a journal by and for women in ministry. Sheila has a Master of Arts in Religion and in Women’s Studies in Religion. She is the author of numerous works on women and religion, including her latest book, From Fear to Faith.

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