A few nights ago, Emily and I were designing business cards together when we ran into a problem. See, she and I have had a goal for a little while now to design some business cards for our little family that we can give away to everyone we meet. The idea is to have one card for both of us that will have our names, our websites, and a verse on one side, and East Hill’s information on the other side (so we can invite people to worship with us). The problem arose when we started designing the card. We wanted more than just words on a white background, but what could we use to represent us (besides a picture of us)?
Long story short, I chose a tree. The more I thought about it, the more I liked the imagery. I like it because it represents (at least, in some small way) what Emily and I are right now and, even more, it represents several of our goals for our future.
1. The tree is a fitting reminder of our physical family: past, present, and future. We’re thankful for our family. Our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and so on have helped us to be where we are now. They have fashioned, formed, and prepared us for now and for the future – professionally, domestically, and spiritually. Each branch on the tree represents previous generations in our family. But those branches also indicate the future generations that the two of us hope to bring into the world, if the Lord wills.
2. The tree is a fitting reminder of our spiritual family in Christ. We couldn’t begin to find a tree with enough branches to represent everyone in God’s family. Jesus spoke of a vine with branches rather than a tree, but the imagery is similar (John 15:1-8). As members of the church, the disciples of Christ represent the branches that are connected to the life-giving vine. The Father in Heaven is the Divine Husbandman, who purges the unprofitable from the vine. To be adopted into God’s family is an indescribable blessing (Eph. 1:5; 1 John 3:1-3).
3. The tree is a fitting reminder of who God wants us to be. Psalm 1 describes the righteous man, whose delight in is the law of the LORD (1:2). The psalmist says that “he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psa. 1:3). He’s saying that Christians are like trees. How so?
- Christians are like trees in their deep, downward roots. Colossians 2:6-7 says that Christians are to walk in Jesus, “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”
- Christians are like trees in their growing, fruit-bearing branches. Tree branches sometimes bear fruit. Jesus says, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit” (John 15:8). However Christians excel, God is the One Who has furnished the increase (1 Cor. 3:6). It seems that, the higher trees grow, the closer they get to heaven itself. As Christians grow, they’re growing closer and closer to God (James 4:8).
There are undoubtedly more parallels that could be made. We’ll leave it here for now, but I love all of these comparisons and considerations.
I want my family to be like a tree: grounded (in the faith), growing (in number and in spirit), and, most of all, God-pleasing.
Question: What are some other ways in which Christians are like trees? Please support your answer with Scripture.