A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Matthew 7.18
On Wednesday the 10th of August I was in Pennan, the village of the Local Hero. The breath taking beauty of this tranquil little village on a warm sunny day could be regarded as heaven on earth. The kindness of a dear friend made it possible for the family and I to spend a couple of days away in prayer and rest. Prayer is rest and rest is prayer for we believe in the God of Sabbath.
We returned home that evening to a huge excitement because someone had found an Oasis, a pool of water in the desert. I was so out of touch with the excitement of something that seemed to have happened that day that I said to a friend who was delighted to have found an oasis after a long period of wilderness in the desert, that it could just be a mirage.
How could one even dream of an oasis in the desert where mirage is the only virtual reality! Why do we, the human beings ever dream of justice, peace, truth and love when we experience nothing but injustice, oppression, violation of human dignity and trauma in exchange for kindness? As if this is not true in real life, all we see at the heart of our homes and our places of prayer is that solitary Man hanging on the cross. Somehow, this has come to be the symbol of love, forgiveness, peace and rest for many. No wonder many contemporary churches prefer a white wall to a decorated front with a cross in the middle with a solitary Man hanging on it.
It is true of our virtual generation to create the reality we believe in or dream of and deny the reality that confronts us. We would rather talk about Human Dignity while we do everything in our power to deny it.
Contemplating on this Oasis which turned out to be a Mirage I went to ‘the place’ of comfort, the place where Mary sat, at the feet of the Master! A place where you can still hear truth and dream of Mary sing the Magnificat again! The words of the Master was flowing from his sweet lips … Blessed are the Peace Makers … for they shall be called the children of God. My thoughts must have drifted at that point that when I heard him again, I couldn’t believe my ears when he said,
‘A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.’ Matthew 7.18
Jesus saying something deterministic! How could he call people to repentance when he knew too well that a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit. How can a whole people of God believe in truth and justice when the core is corrupt! How can a mirage ever become an oasis?
It was good to encounter an energised young man turn up at the house of prayer recently talking about a mirage of mitres. It was quite refreshing to see young people see something for what it is and not be tempted to believe that a corrupt tree can bring forth good fruit? There is nothing new under the sun, says the Preacher! We can do nothing but pray, ‘save us in the time of trial and deliver us from the evil one.'