To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. 1 Peter 2:21
In nature we see God’s handiwork, including the trees. The poet Joyce Kilmer, author of “Trees,” would call them God’s lovely poems. The weeping willow is one of these trees. It is not universally admired because of its habit to “weep” its sticky sap on your car, especially the windshield, if you park underneath it. Then you have trouble seeing, tears always blur vision. But willows have both utility and beauty. They yield their flexible twigs for basket weaving; their gracefully drooping branches rank it with ornamental trees.
The weeping willow goes under the scientific name of “salix babylonica,” perhaps because of its mention in the Psalm,” “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the [willows] we hung our harps” (Psalm 137:1-2).
What would there be for a willow to weep about if it had feelings and the facility to shed real tears? It might be sorrowful because some trees, like the fig tree in Christ’s parable, do not bear fruit in their season. Or it could weep because forests are ravaged because of people’s carelessness with campfires or their eagerness to obtain lumber. There would also be reason to shed tears of joy because, as the Holy Communion liturgy so strikingly puts it, Satan, who by a tree over came our first parents in Eden, was himself overcome by a tree – the tree of the cross on which Jesus died to atone for sin. Saint Peter writes: “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24).
Saint Paul tells us that “the whole creation has been groaning” (Romans 8:22), not only because human sin lays a heavy load on it, but also because it awaits its liberation (Romans 8:21), along with that of God’s people, when Christ will come again and bring us to final glory. The weeping willow, a part of creation, joins in this expectation.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord God for sending Your Son to the tree of the cross for my salvation and turning my weeping into joy. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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