Learning from nature: Part 1 - Trees

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Today is the first ‘episode’ of a 4-part series of Sunday messages, linked to the theme:  "Learning from nature"

The inspiration and foundation of this series is taken from Job 12:7-8

“Just ask the animals and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the sky and they will tell you. Speak to the earth and it will instruct you. Let the fish in the sea speak to you”

The series will look at how the Bible many times makes use of metaphors (images) from the environment and nature to illustrate and to teach us. This emphasises the way nature is part of the greater cosmos and our daily lives. I will try to link the series to the Wednesday–content as well, in which we will look at scientific studies or insights on how nature ‘operates’ and what we can learn from it.

Episode 1: “Trees”

Today we focus on trees. There are quite a number of references to trees in the Bible:

1.    The tree of life = which becomes a metaphor for human choices 2.    Trees that symbolise rest and peace = when one has had a tiring journey and needs shade and a space to sit for a while 3.    Trees can be sacred spaces under which a loved one is laid to rest and becomes a burial place 4.    Roots of trees are symbols of strength and connectedness 5.    A tree that bears fruit is a powerful metaphor for our life of faith, that sometimes asks for time and patience and perseverance

It is truly wonderful how this part of nature is such an important part of our faith language.


Contact a few of your friends, family or church community members. Each might take one of the books of the Bible or a section of a book and see who can find the most references to trees, or some examples that I have not listed here!


Think of different trees in your environment and discuss which one you identify with the most: one with a strong stem and branches (?) one that is tall and slender (?) one that is short with a canopy of leaves (?) and so on.

Enjoy the discussion! I wish you all the wonderful health and peace of a green tree.

- The Green Teaching and Learning Community