16th September 2021

There’s more to trees than meets the eye!

…that you, being rooted and grounded in love…
Ephesians 3:17 (ESV)

Trees are God’s wonderful gift to mankind. Many tree varieties provide us with food and medicinal properties. Other benefits of trees are their leaves that absorb carbon dioxide and release life-giving oxygen into the air. Without trees our landscapes would be less attractive.

Trees are by far the longest living species of plants on earth. The Great Basin Bristlecone Pines (Pinus longaeva), which grow on the mountains of California, have been dated as far back as 3,000 B.C.1 This date precedes the construction of the great pyramids of Egypt!

Interestingly, scientists in recent years have undertaken research into the root systems of trees that grow in forests. Their research has uncovered an amazingly complex network of communication and cooperation. For example, the roots of forest trees provide nourishment in the form of certain bacteria and fungi to help neighbouring trees grow better.2

In nature, many living species display remarkable cooperation. Bees and ants, for example, work closely for the health and survival of their kind, and we human beings can learn much from studying their behaviour (Proverbs 6:6-8).

As Christians we are encouraged to be ‘rooted and grounded’ in love for one another (Ephesians 3:17). Paul makes this point in Philippians 2:3-4: ‘Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.’ In Galatians 6:10 he once again emphasises the golden rule: ‘So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.’

Jesus and his apostles spent their ministry years serving and encouraging others to build up their faith. They found great joy in doing so, and we can share that same joy when we share the grace and love of Christ. Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35).

There is much we can learn spiritually from the natural world, and from trees and their root systems in particular. Even more importantly, let us keep our attention fixed on Jesus who is the biblical ‘tree of Life’.

Thank you Father for the creation of trees that not only add beauty to our landscapes, but also provide food and many other benefits for man and beast. Thank you also for your son Jesus – the ‘tree of life’ who offers salvation to the whole world. In his name, Amen.

Study by John Magowan

1 bristlecone pine | Facts, Oldest, & Lifespan | Britannica https://www.britannica.com › plant › bristlecone-pine
2 Exploring The Underground Network of Trees – The Nervous …https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu › flash › exploring-the-under…


About the writer:
John Magowan attends the Lisburn congregation of Grace Communion International, Northern Ireland.

Local congregation:
Lisburn Grace Communion
Ballymacbrennan School House
129A Saintfield Road
BT27 5PG

Meeting time:
Sunday 11am

Local congregational contact:
Bob Beggs

Word of Life contact: