The Back Page
Trees and Churches
God loves trees. He created them on the third day. Rules were established to protect them during
times of war (Deut 20:19–20). The righteous are like fruitful trees planted by streams of water. “The trees
of Yahweh are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. There the birds make their nests; the
stork has its home in the junipers.” The millennial kingdom is a time when “every man shall sit under his
own vine and under his own fig tree.” More than 300 times the Bible speaks of trees. They can be
particularly beautiful in autumn, when leaves color and die in preparation for winter’s rest.
God also loves the church. He purchased her with his own blood. Paul seems amazed that God could
forgive and use a person who had once persecuted her. Husbands are to love their wives just as Christ
loved and gave himself up for the church.
Is there any way we can we bring trees and churches together? With profuse apologies to Joyce
Kilmer, perhaps dusting off this anonymous poem will do the trick:
I think that I shall never see
A church that’s all it ought to be;
A church whose members never stray
Beyond the strait and narrow way;
A church that has no empty pews,
Whose pastor never has the blues,
A church whose deacons always deak,
And none is proud, and all are meek.
Where gossips never peddle lies,
Or make complaints or criticize;
Where all are always sweet and kind
And all to other’s faults are blind.
Such perfect churches there may be,
But none of them are known to me.
But still we’ll work and pray and plan
To make our own the best we can.