Daily Bread May 18

People of the Resurrection
David Nii of Centennial, CO, USA

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28 NRSV

An old apple tree grows in the corner of our yard. In winter, its leafless form looks scraggly, but each spring new shoots emerge, leaves bloom, and the tree takes on a beautiful shape and color. I conscientiously fertilize, water, and prune, yet every year, the tree is barren.

I marvel at our neighbor’s apple tree usually full of nicely shaped fruit each year. I believe our tree actually is the barren root stock instead of the supposed fruit-bearing variety. Several years ago, I tried to graft a new fruit-bearing shoot onto our tree with dismal results, so I told my spouse I was going to cut the tree down because it was never going to be a real apple tree. Her response was simple and to the point: “Please don’t cut it down; it is such a pretty tree.”

That tree became a symbol of the Resurrection. Every fall it withers and every spring it comes back to life, but it re-emerges in its own beauty, not into my preconceived idea of what it needs to be in order to have value. That tree comes to new life each spring with its fruitless branches proclaiming, “See how I make the corner of your yard a pretty space!”

Life often is filled with non-fruit-bearing apple trees. In spite of our best intentions and desires, winter comes, and when new life emerges it often does not take the shape, form, or fruit-bearing we think it should. Yet, creation continues to birth new possibilities of beauty and value. The call to be people of the Resurrection is an invitation to be willing to see and experience the wonder present in all rebirth. The miracle of resurrection is not in my barren tree someday bearing fruit, but in the recognition and celebration of its beautiful renewing glory each spring.

Prayer Phrase

Spirit, now live in me.

Spiritual Practice

Breathe deeply and enter a few minutes of silence. Be attentive to where you sense new life emerging in you. Search your memories of the previous day. When did you notice the sacredness of life in surprising places or forms in the world around you?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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