I love this time of year! The Bradford Pear Trees are white!!! They are the harbingers of spring along with the yellow of Forsythia. As the snow white trees glisten in the sun, they are the first spring like sign that there is a change of seasons coming!! Soon it will be the time of redbud trees, and dogwood trees, and then azaleas, all signaling that change is coming!! And it is NOT a change that WE are bringing! It is something much larger than us causing seasons to change and new colors to emerge. But they are used as ambassadors of the coming new creation of God
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Jeremiah, what do you see?' And I said, 'I see a branch of an almond tree.'" Then the Lord said to me, 'You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.'" Jeremiah 1:11-12
The almond tree was the Bradford Pear of Judea, the first tree to show a change was coming. And Jeremiah had no more control over that change than he did the Word of the Lord.
It was a Word of change, like a Good Friday to an Easter, like water over a head with the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, like a swallow of wine and "This is my blood shed for you and for all people."
The Word of God changed Jeremiah. He saw things differently, in a new way. In the Holy Spirit, Paul declared that he had been given the ability to see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. For Paul, the Word of God changed everything.
Last Sunday I was in Burkes Garden for a site visit of one of our interns, Vicar Barbara Krumm, As she was preaching, she became an almond tree for me as she spoke to Thomas inundated with the disciples saying to him through the week, over and over, "We have seen the Lord!" "The Lord is risen!" Until Thomas said, "All right, I'm coming this Sunday to see for myself!"
Almond trees are bright white in Judea, but they take on the colorful shades of a mother, father, friend, neighbor, colleague in the brilliant hues of ambassadors for Christ, through whom the Lord is performing His Risen Word!