I grew up running wild through the property across from my grandma’s house. I spent many weekends there with my cousin, catching giant pond spiders, building forts, meandering through the water paths with his drift boat, riding his dirt bike, and exploring. We were the best of friends.
At some point, during each visit to grandmas, I always found myself at the great oak tree. This tree was massive. The kind of tree that stood in absolute wonderment amongst the other trees. This tree had the presence that held my attention. The trunk was wide with deep lines. The branches spread out in all directions as a display of worshipful expanse. The covering created a shelter beneath; a place of safety. There was one branch that thoughtfully hung low enough for a little girl like me, to reach up and pull myself onto.
I treasure finding analogies and symbolism between this created earth and our created humanity which holds spiritual significance. Our Maker has purpose in the formation of things. Mindful beautiful thoughtful purpose! We are valued and remembered in the making and in the life-living.
The oak is a tree of righteousness. The prophet Isaiah used the oak tree as a symbol of God’s righteous people, planted for the glory and the splendor of the Lord.
Isaiah spoke of the Year of the Lord’s Favor by declaring the anointing to “preach good news to the poor…to bind up the brokenhearted…to proclaim freedom for the captives…and a release from darkness for the prisoners…to comfort all who mourn…and to provide for those who grieve in Zion…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes. The oil of gladness instead of mourning…a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” And then it goes on to say, “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.”
Those words resonate with me like a beating drum, rhythmically asking me to stand to my feet and partake in the beauty. Isaiah’s words hold so much relevancy, right here, right now, for we the people.
The prophecy proclaims the mission of Jesus Christ, and in the act of sacrificial love and reconciliation, Jesus fully imparts to us the same calling. The bride is to fulfill this beautiful path of love as long as we are the church on this earth.
This calling is ours to take hold of. Ours for the claiming. This calling is imparted to us with authority by Holy Spirit.
We are called to be preachers of good news.
We are called to be mindful of the binding and mending of the brokenhearted.
We are called to be proclaimers of freedom for the captives… (WOW!)
We are called to be light bearers and key holders; releasers of the darkness.
We are called to set the prisoners free.
We are called to be comforters and providers to all who mourn.
We are released to wear our crowns of beauty instead of ashes.
May we receive and offer the oil of gladness.
And in this calling, this life-path of kingdom living, we the church, are named Oaks of Righteousness.
YOU SEE WE ARE CALLED TO BE ACTIVISTS! ~ ACTIVATORS OF LOVE
We are oaks of righteousness! We are to be a covering. A safe place. A sacred space. May we raise our banners high to be people of the open doors!
We as the church, the bride of Christ, we hold a sacred solidarity, a sister and brotherhood of EQUAL VALUE. Despite our differences and in celebration of our uniqueness, we as one faith, one body, one oak tree, we carry the flame and we journey together.
With equal value we are all invited to partake. We are all welcome to join in. There is room enough for all of us!
Our roots are planted, and they intertwine and overlap and they make new paths within the soil as we press forward in the making of righteousness.
Oh church, we are a planting of the Lord for the display of HIS SPLENDOR!
What an honor. What a calling. What a life-giving life this is.
– Jenny Rose Foster