Spend some moments looking at the above image. (If necessary, you should be able to expand it by clicking on it.) What do you notice? What stands out to you? What do you find yourself drawn to? Placing yourself in the scene, what would you expect to hear and smell and feel?
Scripture has the following to say about the new Jerusalem: “On both sides of the river was the tree of life bearing 12 kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree are for healing the nations” (Revelation 22:2). After reading that passage, how does your perception of the image above change? Does the fact that the tree above, surrounded as it is by life (pedestrians walking by, customers shopping, and fruit that sustains and nourishes the body), alter your perception of the Scripture passage?
In “The Dream of the Rood”, an ancient Anglo-Saxon poem from the perspective of the cross itself, the cross of Christ is referred to as a “tree”. Do you see any connections between the tree that Christ died on so that we might have life and the “tree of life” from the book of Revelation? Does the “tree” that Christ died on have any bearing on the life and flourishing of society as pictured above? What about in your life?