the Son has risen
Easter is a special time for many of us. For surfers, Easter means the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Australia. Bells is the longest running Pro surfing contest in both Australia and the world. Yesterday saw the crowning of Womens champion, Carissa Moore. Today is finals day for the Men. Last year’s Bells winner Mick Fanning has been eliminated so the gates are now wide open for a new champion this year. You can watch it live from this link here.
For the Christian community Easter Sunday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after he was crucified, died and then placed in a sealed tomb. One of my favourite Easter stories is The Three Trees. I like to include trees in my beach photography. Today I have some photos from the last week to illustrate this story of a tree with a special destiny. We all have a special destiny. Ô
the Three Trees
Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: “I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I’ll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!”.
The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. “I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I’ll be the strongest ship in the world!”.
The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. “I don’t want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they’ll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world.”
Years passed. The rain came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain. The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining axe, the first tree fell. “Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!”, the first tree said.
The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, “This tree is strong. It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining axe, the second tree fell. “Now I shall sail mighty waters!” thought the second tree. “I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!”
The third tree stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the woodcutter never even looked up. “Any kind of tree will do for me” he muttered. With a swoop of his shining axe, the third tree fell.
Many many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But, one night, a golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feedbox. “I wish I could make a cradle for him.”, her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and sturdy wood. “This manger is beautiful.” she said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.
One evening a traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew that she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and the rain. The tired man awoke. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, “Peace.” The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the King of heaven and earth.
One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel.
But, on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God’s love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.