“Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called their on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned….” (Genesis 21:23-24)
As I write this in early October, there are a whole lot of trees being planted around here. Trees are an easy sell. People eagerly sign up to put a tree in the ground. Doing so in honor of a loved one makes it all the more special. A newly-planted tree, it seems to me, points both to our past and to our future.
Whenever we see the tree, we remember why we planted. What was the occasion? Who is it for? When did we do this thing? And, whenever we see the tree, we know it has many, many more years left. It will bring joy and delight to future generations. We may never sit in its shade or enjoy its fruit.
It’s not about us.
What a fitting picture these 50+ trees paint for describing Trinity Church’s experience in 2015. Consider these two accounts from long-time members that God privileged me to recently hear:
From a member who raised a family here: I was sitting in church recently and realized that church really isn’t about me anymore. I saw my child, their spouse, and children. I was thrilled to see them worshiping. I was thankful for the changes we’ve made as a church.
From a life-long member reflecting on decisions we made in 2007-08: Jon, can you believe we almost didn’t do this? I can’t believe what all has taken place and we get to be part of it.
In Genesis 21, Abraham plants a tree to remember a covenant. And then he walked on his way. In his life-time, he unlikely ever sat in its shade or enjoyed it’s branches. It wasn’t about him. It was about his trust in “the Lord, the Everlasting God.”
So many people have planted spiritual seedlings through generosity that is way more than financial. Our older generations planted the soil that will bear fruit for generations to come. And our younger generations are taking the mantle of faith in their lives of mission. I see it in the families taking new children into their homes, in new mentoring relationships between adults in teens, in middle-aged couples investing in young families.
Let’s keep planting trees in this region. They remind us of that God is growing something for his kingdom. It’s not about us.
You can click this link to see how our deacons are making plans to be stewards of over $1 million in our combined gifts. Thanks be to God!
Thanks be to God,