Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: India (02/12/09)
TITLE: Heaven's Tree
By Allison Egley
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"Always remember the upside down tree," Deepak, the village leader, said. "It's roots are in heaven, and it gives fruit to all mankind. Its bark has been marred, and it's sap can provide healing. If we can find this tree, maybe we will finally have peace and happiness in our village."
The villagers continued to tell their stories, while Michael stood there, stunned, as he realized the amazing parallels between the legend of the tree and the gospel. Tears began to stream down his face.
Deepak noticed and walked back to him. "Michael, why are you crying?"
"The story about the tree... Where did that come from?"
"It's been passed down for generations and generations. Why?"
"It's exactly what I've been trying to tell you all these years. I just didn't know how to word it."
"What do you mean, Michael?"
"May I address the group, or would you like me to tell you this alone?"
"If it has to do with the tree," Deepak said, "Then I think we would all benefit from hearing it." The two men walked to the middle of the circle, and Deepak addressed the group surrounding him. "Michael has something he would like to say."
"Tonight, I was standing back listening to Deepak tell you about a tree rooted in heaven," Michael began. "I'd like to tell you about Tree of Life, Jesus, who came from heaven to save us all. His roots are in heaven, from God, the ultimate gardener. Jesus, the Tree of Life, came down to earth, just as the tree had roots in heaven, and grew down toward earth." The villagers sat still, captivated by the story. "Just as the tree in your story provided fruit, so did Jesus. He came to give us peace, mercy and forgiveness. The tree in your story had its bark cut, and the sap flowed, giving healing. Jesus died on the cross... on a tree... for you. His blood gives healing and forgiveness, so that you too can one day be in heaven."
Michael looked at the stunned faces around him. "I realize this is a lot of information for you. Please, come to my meeting on Sunday, and I will tell you more about Jesus, the Tree of Life."
Michael returned home, stunned at the opportunity he'd been given tonight. Never before had the people sat so captivated by the gospel. A few moments later, he heard a knock. Michael went to the door. Deepak was standing there, along with other people from the village.
"Michael, we cannot wait until Sunday to hear of this Tree. Will you please tell us more tonight?"
"Of... of course," Michael stammered. Please. Come in."
Michael grabbed his Bible and looked heavenward. "Thank You, Father," he whispered, before beginning to once again teach the people.
The story of the "Upside Down Tree" is taken from Don Richardson's ideas and collections of "redemptive analogies." http://www.gospellight.com/wcsstore/Gospel%20Light/PDF/0830731237e.pdf
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