The Tree of Life

Posted by Kevin |

This is an amazing sculpture made by a group of artists from Mozambique in 2004. It is called the "Tree of Life" and resides in the atrium of the British Museum, which I love, because you wouldn't expect the post-Christian celebration of art in Europe to house Christian art, let alone spotlight it.

But what is more amazing is to think of the profoundly theological implications of this piece of art. The sculpture is created entirely of decommissioned weapons from the Mozambique civil war. It is a very real picture of Isaiah 2.4, which says, "He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." I'm not going to lie, I don't do a lot of devotionals in Isaiah, but I do often dream of what it would be like to have God’s peace and justice reigning in our current world. From our countries war in Iraq, to genocide, starvation, AIDS, we all wrestle with the evil of this world and long for peace. This piece of art, to me, embodies the voice of humanity from artists, followers of Jesus and non-followers alike, who yearn not just for peace, but also for unity. Because we were all created, because we all bear the image of God himself, and so we all desire that peace.

It is amazing how that desire transcends language, culture, up-bringing and time. But that desire alone is empty without movement. Like any gift from God, it must move us to action. A blessing from God is to be shared and so a desire for peace should prompt us to strive for peace. But how? How do I become a person of peace? Or the church a movement of peace? How do we become a movement that makes a difference?


This piece of art is a beautiful picture of what is to come. In Revelations 22.1-3, it says, “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.”

But how can I be that image or expression of peace today?



Dave Johnston said...

Good to hear from you man. How is your beauiful family? Love is the only real answer isn't it? I am honored that you would put me on your blogroll thanks. Check out Zach's blog, he is good. http://zachjohnblog.blogspot.com/
How did you find my blog?

Mike McGarvey said...

truth. looking forward to seeing you guys soon.

Rev Med said...

Hey Kev,
just wanted to say what's up. I got one of these dudahs cause of chandler. Hope you and the kids are doing well. Much love,
Justin Mederich