5: THE DIVINE IS IN EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IS DIVINE

The transformation of our darker energies to the light and glory of divine potential is portrayed in this piece as the Tree of Life.

The darkness results when we turn away from the light and glory which is the divine.

We choose to. turn away from the light and stand with our back to it. We can only perceive the world in this way from the darkness of our own shadow. The darkest shadow of our own ego which lies before us as we ignore the glory and presence of the divine in our lives.

Our pride and stubbornness leads us to believe that we are in control of things, which we are not.The roots of the tree symbolise the darker energies which can handicap our spiritual growth. Anger, lust, greed, pride, avarice, jealousy are all part of the seven deadly sins which can hold us prisoner to their passion.

The trunk of the tree represents the christian story. The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is depicted at the bottom. The Incarnation of Christ, the moment when the transcendent God of all time and space chose to limit himself to a geographical place on earth and a time in history so that he could experience all that it means to be human in all its pain and sorrow, joy and celebration.

He came not as a King in a palace of gold and marble, but as a vulnerable baby, for whom there was no room at the inn, in a manger bed full of hay with the beasts of the stable standing all around Him.

The whole of creation is represented in the ox, ass, sheep, shepherds, kings and angels. We see the Holy baby gazing into the face of Mary his mother as she returns His gaze in adoration and praise.

The cross of crucifixion upon which Jesus suffered and died rises above the tender scene of the Incarnation. The death of a criminal upon an instrument of torture, he suffered all torments we could ever have to humanly experience.

Betrayal, torture, hatred, rejection, death, all for the name of love the path of love which was what he came to bring us and for which he was killed by a world that did not understand or accept his message.

Above the crucifixion we see the risen, ascended Lord embracing creation in a blaze of golden glory. The leaves of the tree are alight with the reflection of his golden glory and the branches bear the fruits of the spirit which the transformation of Jesus Christ can effect in and through us: Light, joy, peace, glory, inner freedom, patience, compassion and love.

His ministry was lived out of and for love. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and all your soul and all your strength and love your neighbour as yourself. Love your enemies. A difficult message for us today as it was when he spoke the words two thousand years ago.

As we turn to face the light of his glory the connecting force of love in our lives draws us closer to Him, into Him. As we move into Him, so we can offer that light and glory into the world and all whom we meet around us, as well as the whole of the creation in all its forms.