July 18, 2018

Under the Tree

July 18, 2018


Psalm 142
Amos 9:11-15
This weekend’s reading: Matthew 14:22-32


Several years ago, we lived in a house that had a patio bordered by a large cherry tree. In the spring, the tree would be covered with pale pink blossoms shimmering in the light breeze. In the summer, its thick green leaves shaded our patio with dappled light. It was a pleasure sitting under that tree, reading a book or drinking a glass of iced tea.

When I think about the world as it should be, when everything has been put right and God’s kingdom is present on this earth, the image of that tree comes to mind and the peaceful feeling I had under its branches. Today’s reading describes that day when God will restore the fortunes of his people. God says in verse 15, “I will plant them upon their land, and they shall never again be plucked up out of the land that I have given them.” Like a graceful cherry tree planted in a garden, God’s people will remain safe and secure.

If you watch the news, it may be hard to see evidence that the future includes restoration, peace, and security for God’s people. But as Mister Rogers famously said, “Look for the helpers.” Even in the midst of chaos and ill-will, there are tendrils of God’s grace incarnated in the actions of courageous women and men.


  • What image comes to your mind when you think of God’s future kingdom of restoration, peace, and security?
  • Where do you see the “helpers,” women and men who are working for God’s peace, here and now?


  • Where do you see “helpers” in our world?
  • How can you be a helper when you see someone in need?

Loving Father, we look forward to the day when everyone and everything in your creation will be restored and we can all sit in peace under the tree of your grace. Give us eyes to see the helpers who are already at work bringing restoration and peace to your troubled world. Inspire and empower us to join the many helpers who are doing your will. Amen.