In the Lectionary

February 17, Epiphany 6C (Jeremiah 17:5-10; Luke 6:17-26)

Trusting in God is fruitful, says Jeremiah. But what about when it isn’t?

It is winter. The scene outside your window might be a gray sky with snow-covered trees, or a sunny sky with bare trees. Trees are indicators of life. Their seasonal changes have a curious connection to our own seasonal emotions; they seem to mimic how we feel in winter, spring, summer, and fall. Want to know the season? Look up. Check out the trees. Notice the leaves. The trees will tell you what it feels like outside, and they might even reflect how our own hearts and lives are shifting, too.

Trees reach down and up; they send roots through the ground and trunks and branches skyward. They are both grounded and growing, stationary and on the move. They stretch, they reach, they seek what gives them life—water, soil, and sun.

God so often uses nature to teach and witness to faith. All of creation is connected in the Creator; the love of God is revealed in all that God has infused with life. So it should not surprise us that images of trees, shrubs, water, and earth appear throughout our scriptures. These images are of God and of God’s relationship with us.