In my favourite Greek restaurant, Greek olives are part of every Greek salad, and their oil is a key ingredient in a lot of Greek pastry and also serves as good medicine for burns and infections. I wondered, though, why the psalmist would put this into his prayer: But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. (verse 8) Isn’t that just what people are looking for when they come to the house of God? Aren’t they looking for people whose words and actions heal their souls and nourish their lives with hope and meaning?
What kind of tree do they find when they meet me in church on Sunday morning? An inflexible oak, a willow that bends and dances with every changing wind or, heaven help us, a spiny cactus no one wants to get close to?
There are good reasons to ask God to help us be like a green olive tree growing in the garden of God’s house, there for all who seek the steadfast love of God that has no ending.
Thank you, God, for all the goodness you have poured into our lives and for the supreme goodness of Jesus' name. Amen. — BB