Consecration of healers.
There were no grasses, plants, or trees growing anywhere
When God created the heavens and the earth,
Only streams which rippled up to water the parched ground.
Eventually God planted a garden full of trees.
In the middle, stood two fruit trees--
One which nourished life and the other which imparted wisdom.
Standing before the trees, she considered that the fruits looked juicy and ripe. As his companion, she had always made choices that included him.
How could she resist to taste of wisdom?
He was equally curious, and quickly accepted the fruit she shared with him.
The effect was instant: the naked couple sewed clothes from fig leaves
And ran to hide from God behind the trees in the garden.
Yet, no foliage was thick enough to disguise their fear,
And no vegetation was over-grown enough to conceal their guilt.
Together they paid the price of knowing.
The rivers became polluted, and they flooded the banks of the world
With poverty, disease, violence, hate, injustice, fear and loneliness.
Families died of starvation while diseases flourished;
Trees withered, no longer able to support fruit.
Violence destroyed and consumed every last forest."
Weapons were hewn from the most delicate branches.
Hate grew stronger than the oldest tree trunks,
Forming ring after ring of prejudice over time.
People divided themselves by differences--gender, race, class, and sexual orientation
And the disadvantaged groups were pushed aside to plead, beg, and bargain for life.
In fear, people became more and more isolated from each other.
Hunger and loneliness set in and creation gasped for breath.
And God responded with new life:
A single tree grew up from the desert floor,
Each branch bowed low with harvest offerings,
Extending the fruit of its branches to those
Who could no longer pluck sustenance for themselves
The scent of the blossoms was strong enough to reconcile every broken bond,
Even the bond between women and men.
Some people were skeptical of&is tree in the desert
How was it able to take root and bloom in the scoring sand?
They ventured forth with frustrated rage.
They stripped its branches, chopped it down,
And dragged it all the way to Jerusalem.
As they drove the nails in, the wood splintered and creaked,
Convincing them they had taken life.
Jesus' mother stood beside the cross with her sister.
Tears burned down her cheeks as the ground shook.
She beheld her son, the miracle baby, surrendered to that distorted tree.
Trembling and hopeless, she turned away.
Searching for meaning in a world which had never been her own,
She remembered his words--words of hope, life, and love.
They would not abandon her.
After some time the angel brought her back to the garden
And showed her a river that was as clear as the truth, whose waters imparted life.
At the mouth of the river were seated God and the Lamb.
In the other direction, the waters flowed down the middle of the city's highway.
On either side of the river stood trees which grew a different kind of fruit
During every month of the year in order to satisfy the hunger of the world.
Like the water, the fruit of the trees gave life
And the leaves were collected and used to heal the wounds of every nation (Rev. 22:1-2)
Standing on the banks of the river,
Watching her reflection in the water and smelling the thick nectar,
She could still feel the pangs of his birth,
The torment of his rejection,
The fringes of his hem between her fingers
His hand helping up to life,
And her burning tears at his death.
Wading up the river to meet with him again,
She accepted his invitation to be whole.
The worlds and actions of Jesus empowered her,
"Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well".
This he meant for she who had once wandered into the middle of Eden,
She who had given birth to him,
She who had rejected him,
She who had touched the fringes of his clothing,
She who had been brought back to life,
And every she who identifies with him
And is made whole through his healing power.
Jesus' love empowers her to hope for the healing of all of creation.
The tree that she ate from in the beginning is the same tree
That will provide the fruit to heal the nations.
Having returned to Eden, she is busy planting.
The trees are swaying with the wind,
Swaying all the way back to the beginning, and forth to the Kingdom of God.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America