Palms and the Cross


From Frances Young’s Construing the Cross: “If Christ’s death is best construed as a sign of the tree of life, then the ancient symbol of the tree of life must be one of the most important pointers to its meaning. The catalyst for my exploration of this symbol was preparing for a Palm Sunday service. On a recent visit to the original L’Arche community…in France I had bought a little cross at the workshop where core member of the community, those with learning disabilities, are employed. The white ceramic cross-shape, decorated with leaves and branches, was clearly a simple image of the cross as the tree of life….

As tree of life, the cross speaks of the superabundance of God’s overflowing love for creation, becoming a sheer gift of grace. Paralleled with the tree of knowledge, the cross is associated with Adam’s disobedience and its reversal, but associated with the other tree in the Eden narrative, the tree of life, the cross is turned into a source of healing and growth, offering the possibility of receiving and bearing fruits, becoming trees of righteousness, blossoming with fruits of the Spirit.”


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