We planted an oak tree in our yard some 10 years ago. It was around six feet tall when we got it and has grown about an inch since. Each spring it produces around a dozen leaves to let us know it’s still alive, drops those leaves in the fall, and repeats the cycle the following year. Each year I threaten to cut it down, but when I see those dozen leaves and one inch of growth over the past decade, I let it be in hopes that next year it might “take off.”
The image of the oak tree in today’s reading is significantly different from the one in our yard. God, through the prophet, is foretelling a golden age where the messiah (anointed one) will one day bring healing, peace and deliverance. On that day God’s people will all stand as mighty “oaks of righteousness,” and their very presence will display God’s glory.
That age began when Jesus read these words in the synagogue at Nazareth and applied them to himself. As we read them some 2000 years hence, we see that this golden age is still “here now – not yet.”
And so we continue to watch and wait for the first days of spring?and the growth of that mighty oak.
Lord, grow us into what you've called us to be. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen. — ACS