Daily Devotion for May 21, 2021


Trees of Hope

 Blessed are those who trust in the LORD, whose trust is in the LORD.
They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green;
In the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.                              Jeremiah 17:7-8
During our Lake Lucerne staff celebration lunch and farewell for Melinda Trotti (Interim Director at Lake Lucerne, who finishes her position on May 25), we acknowledged the projects that Melinda has begun during her year serving among us. One of the projects was to re-organize and re-launch a land and forestry plan for the camp. Jeff Niese, a United Methodist and forester, has been generously donating his time to help develop the forestry plan. During our lunch he told this story (shared with his permission):


 “The Beechnut tree population, which only grows in a few areas of the U.S., including Wisconsin, has been decimated by a fungus and is nearly extinct in many areas where they used to be abundant. Lake Lucerne has had Beechnut trees on the property, but they have nearly died out because of the fungus.

“Today,” Jeff continued, “I planted some Beechnut saplings which I have grown from seed, as a sign of hope. They are planted in celebration and thanks for the hope that Melinda has given to the land and environment in Lake Lucerne through reviving the forestry project. They are planted in hope for the future of the forests and Beechnuts. They are planted in hope and gratitude for God’s gifts of creation and trees and forests and Beechnuts.”

We live in the blessing of God’s creative hope on this earth, on this land, with this sacred environment of meadows and gardens and forests and trees. We live in the blessing of those who lived on this land across history, who cared for the earth and environment, who harvested and cultivated, who planned and planted for future generations.
We are now the generation alive, planning and planting, caring for the environment, tending this earth and God’s creation upon which we live, for future generations. The trees we plant today will send out roots and grow and provide forests and shade for the future. They are signs of our trust in God’s creation which, even when we cannot know that the future will bring, we plant and tend and grow, because we believe that how we live today demonstrates our faith, care, and hope for the future.
Life-giving God, may we live each day as trees planted by water, rooting in your Spirit and branching out to provide sustenance and shelter for others and for the future. May we find new ways to plant trees as signs of hope for future generations. Thank you for Lake Lucerne, for those who care for the camp, for the forests and trees and beechnuts. Thank you for all your gifts, God of creation. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.