Charlotte, NC 28217, Mon & Wed: 9:30a – 4:00p Laying down selfish ambition and pride, an oak of righteousness will always point others to the wonderful person and ways of God. We pray that our children will be sent by God to “bring good news to the oppressed.”. Many churches have mission statements. Elise’s ministry began as an infant: she softened the rough-edged teenagers who would sometimes attend our church and visit our home. The oaks of righteousness are plural. We also remind them (and ourselves) that we can ask God to give us new hearts. When one of our children gets mad and hits the other, we ask, “Did that make the meanness smaller or bigger?” Then we encourage them to find ways of dealing with the problem to make love grow like an oak tree. Being with others straightens us out. From our (Jim and Heidi’s) very first serious conversation, sixteen years ago, we sensed that we shared the same life mission and values. It encourages us to reach higher. We use this passage as a framework to correct our children when they are not treating one another or their friends the right way: “Is teasing being an oak of righteousness?” We also cite the passage as a way of showing appreciation to our children: “Thank you for being an oak of righteousness when you shared with your brother.” Or we affirm that they are being an oak of righteousness when they draw a picture to cheer up a neighbor in the hospital. Trees of righteousness - In the Hebrew, 'Oaks,' or terebinth trees. This means that Jesus wants us to be kind to others even when they are mean to us. And that’s exactly what happened. Believers do best when they believe with others. As they get older, our children will discover more about the world’s injustice and the power of Christ’s salvation. © 2020 CBE International - All rights reserved. But we do expect that when they make a mistake or hurt one another they need to acknowledge it by saying sorry, and then asking, “What can I do to make things right?” Usually the other person asks for a hug and an assurance that the offender will try not to do it again. The revived heart shouts, “Yes, my relationship with the Master Gardener is secure, for He planted me, sustains me, and calls me His very own.”. It does mean that the righteousness of God and the teaching of Christ and the cross, which are as ever the center of Christianity, are to find fresh force in the thought of the righteousness of the Christian as binding itself, not merely by commandments to do the will of God in society, but by the inner spirit to live the life of God out into society. We try to keep growing and expanding our minds and cultural horizons, so that we can be all that God created us to be, and love God with all our being. We want to use our gifts and resources intentionally to make the world a better place. Then Jacob matter-of-factly informed us, “But God is a boy.” We try to help our children understand that God is not made in our image, but we in God’s. We are all called to be oaks of righteousness, regardless of age, ethnicity, social status, or gender. If your spiritual life were to be portrayed as a tree, how would the artist paint it? Lastly, Isaiah sees a revived life as one that will always bring glory to God. We're more useful. Our eldest son Maurice has also been used to bring good news to others. Nearly every night for weeks he prayed for a neighboring child to come to church. When we told him about a Compassion child we were sponsoring who is about his age, he offered half his savings to buy him a toy. He is an extrovert who enthusiastically draws others in and makes them feel welcome. Building a Lasting Foundation in a Crumbling Culture. We try to model this by seeking our children’s forgiveness and being reconciled when we lose our temper with them. In describing today’s church membership, an artist would have to paint a variety of oaks as well as other types of trees. For example, Jacob took an instinctive dislike to a woman struggling with homelessness and addiction whom we had befriended. For both their sakes, we limited his exposure to her. We want to experience joy, rather than mindless, selfish pleasure. We aim to put God at the center of our family, and to live according to God’s kingdom. We explained, “They have meanness in their hearts, and it comes out in being mean to other people.” We tell our children that everyone has some meanness in their hearts at times, and our job from God is to make the meanness in the world smaller. Kindness and peacemaking — Elise asked the other day why some older children in the playground were acting like bullies. Our family’s sense of mission derives from Isaiah 61:1–3. This follower of Christ yields godly fruit, whose leaf does not wither, and whose spiritual ways are always prosperous. In Isaiah 61:3, God prophesied that the Messiah would fundamentally change who we are and that He would be glorified as a result. Confident faith in God’s call to salvation, however, will always mark a revived life, for in that calling there is strong assurance that God indeed planted the tree. The image of a tree helps to make the abstract concept of righteousness more concrete to our young children, three-year-old Elise and five-year-old … When Jim was interviewing for his pastoral position he told the church that our son would invite his friends, so the congregation needed to be prepared to receive ethnically diverse, special needs youth. Giving Words Their Real Meaning, Sign Up to Get CBE’s Academic Journal Online. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, to display his glory (NRSV).— Isaiah 61:1–3, In particular, we have been drawn to Isaiah 61:3: “They will be called oaks of righteousness…to display God’s glory.” “Oaks of righteousness” is a metaphor for living in a way that pleases God by loving God, others, and ourselves. The image of a tree helps to make the abstract concept of righteousness more concrete to our young children, three-year-old Elise and five-year-old Jacob. Their leaves remain until new ones push off the old. I believe the Spirit of the Lord did this very thing through Isaiah. Several key values or principles are particularly important to our family. A righteous follower of Christ is one who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand in the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of scoffers. I think one of the best ways to describe a genuine oak of righteousness is found in Psalm 1. Some aspects of this mission are beyond what our children are ready for. Yet our children already have a unique contribution to this purpose. 61:1) emphasizes restoring relationships and making things right. We all have equal standing before God. A Nationwide Call for Spiritual Awakening. Confronting Wonder Woman Syndrome: Female Pastors and the Pandemic, Six Black Female Artists Christians Should Know, Mary and Martha: Celebrating the Gifts of Others, Mutuality | Blog + Magazine At home, we revised it slightly: “God is great, God is good, let us thank God for our food…” Jacob and Elise protested because we weren’t “saying it right.” We explained that we wanted to say it that way because God is not a him or a her. Jesus cited this text as the foundation for his earthly ministry (Luke 4:18–19), and we have adopted this as a cornerstone passage that drives and guides the decisions we make as a family. The value of community leads us to share, because we want others to enjoy what we enjoy. Tue, Thu: 9:00a – 9:00p, Site Map How Should We Deal with Our National Tragedy? They are woodland oaks, growing together. Tip: to find an exact phrase or title, enclose it in quotation marks. Would love your thoughts, please comment. In checking 11 different translations of Isaiah 61:3, I found that five say simply “trees of righteousness,” five say “oaks,” and one says “terebinth.” There are six Hebrew words in Scripture rendered “oak.” The word used in Isaiah 61:3 is ayil, which is most often translated “ram.” Its root word refers to strength and power.
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