In my career as an arborist, I’m often called on to determine if a beloved tree that has suffered injury or disease can be brought back from the brink. Such requests remind me of one from my Grannie when I was still a teen. Her neighbour was after her to remove an apple tree from the corner of her garden. It was badly infected with fire blight and a threat to many other trees in neighbouring yards.
We inspected the branches and found that the disease had not yet crept into the trunk or the largest branches. I told Grannie that the tree would not look like much when I pruned away the affected limbs, but she loved that tree, and she told me to do what was needed. Sure enough, the apple tree rebounded, bore fruit and was healthy for many years after.
In today’s lesson, the prophet Jeremiah is reminding God’s people in exile that, as bleak as things seemed, God still had plans for them and for all, that new life would spring up from the house of David. As Joseph and Mary headed to Bethlehem, the city of David, could they have known that they were carrying that precious gift of new life promised so long ago?
God of renewal, help us to believe your promise of new life through your Son. Amen. — DAK