BIRCH TREE AND CEDAR
(Luke 21: 25-36)
“Look at the fig tree and all the trees. . .”
The yellow leaves of the silver birch
gather in breeze-blown clusters.
Above, the naked branches bend
in late autumn’s chilling wind.
There is a prophecy in those branches:
winter’s near. Blasts of snow. Bitter
air and the frozen ground. The leafless
tree will mourn the loss of all
that was green in summer. Death
will seem to reign. But beside the birch
stands another tree: a still green
leafy cedar. Sparrows in its branches.
The dead birch leaves softly rustle
as the rake moves in their midst,
but the cedar’s branches whisper too,
and they too have a message. And it speaks
to the birch, and it speaks to me, of
the promise of a coming summer,
witness of something greater than death,
both now and beyond all winter.
O Loving One who knows our losses,
who knows the cold of our death;
O Coming One who brings new life,
renew your promises yet.
May we birch-tree people have an evergreen heart,
celebrate in winter your spring;
giving thanks for your presence, both here today
and in the future you yet will bring.
Copyright ©2018 by Andrew King