… and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. (Revelations 22:2)
This weekend we will finally come to that moment we have been waiting for – the special celebration of a very special anniversary. Thirty-five years ago this church was chartered and given the charge to “grow where you’re planted.” And what a period of growth it has been.
As we enter into this time of rejoicing and giving glory to God for all God’s many blessings, let us remember that this growth has come in many shapes and forms.
Like the lilies of the field, we have seen periods of growth when numbers and life seem to be flourishing from every corner.
Like planted seedlings, we have also seen times of growth where it came internally and happened beyond what the eye could tangibly see.
Like the mighty oak tree, through all the periods of growth our roots have grown stronger and our branches reached wider. In everything we have done, are doing, and will continue to do – there is growth.
In Revelation, we hear of a great tree that will stand in the middle of the city of God next to the river of life. That tree is known for two distinctive qualities: twelve kinds of fruit and very special leaves. The fruit likely represent the twelve tribes, the twelve disciples, the twelve ways we will live into our calling as Christ’s own.
The leaves, though, are even more important. They will provide healing to the nations. At the end of the day, the most important thing we can do, as a mighty tree that is always growing and reaching, is to bring healing into the world around us.
I hope all of us will reflect on the ways Highland lives into that essential part of our calling as we prepare to gather this weekend. For it is in our leaves and branches, not just our roots, that our future and legacy lie.