Sustenance to Thrive

AUTHOR: Mrs Janelle Anderson - Principal

This week we reflect of the Bible verse from Ezekial 31:7,

It was strong and beautiful, with wide-spreading branches, for its roots went deep into abundant water.

After we finally received some rain we are very clear about what the benefits are to life giving waters. We have lost some long standing vegetation as the rain did not quite come soon enough for them. As a school we aim to always be able to supply enough sustenance for everyone to thrive. We have been analysing the sorts of strengths people had and have still to keep this community standing strong and reaching out with life giving actions and support both within and beyond our community.  In our student analysis for their challenge this week where everyone was to choose an image that depicted their personal strengths I am delighted that the image here from our bible verse is of a beautiful tree without stretched limbs (arms).

This school image for our Fruits of Faith and our 2019 Foundations image also depicts the tree. However, the 2019 theme is not one tree in isolation, but many. God represented as the central strong tree to guide us and each of the others represents us as followers and leaders in our own right. Being fed by the living waters. Our roots reaching far into the ground (our community) to gain every possibility of sustenance.

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I have a true affinity to the tree as it also represents our family name. The Anderson crest is a tree with the words- Stand Sure embedded. You can see in the images a standard crest with the Anderson tartan in the background being from the Scottish heritage on my Husband’s side. But the other image is that of the stain glass window over our own front door in our family home. As we know the best way to stand firm is to have a large base of support and in the case of trees that is a quality root system. So it does take work to be a person prepared to keep a firm foundation. Seeking what is right, surrounding yourself with people who care and are respectful. Showing love and compassion and not wavering under the pressures to make right versus not so right decisions morally and ethically. We are blessed to be reminded as a family every day that we can stand sure knowing God will be our guide and that he has a plan for each of us and as long as we are open to his living waters we can be sure to face the challenges and keep our base sure, steady and firm.

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Our bible verse this week is written about the Assyrian empire. The "great power" of Assyria is likened in this parable to a noble cedar planted in (or transferred to) the garden of Eden, raising its head high above all the other trees in that "garden of God;" its eminence and its beauty being largely due to the fact that it was so well watered at its roots, that "the waters nourished him, the deep made him to grow”.

The cedar, the source of strength and beauty. This great cedar was what it was because "it’s root were by great [many] waters." It was always nourished from below. It drew its strength from its roots, and its roots found their resources in the abundant streams that never failed to water and to refresh them. Strength and beauty grow out of character, moral and spiritual, as the leaves and the branches and the stem grow out of the roots of the tree. And character must be fed by the living streams of truth that flow in the garden of God. We must, if we want to be the symmetrical and fruit-bearing tree we should aspire to become, take care that mind and heart are well nourished by all the truth we can gather from God.

Being people of character takes effort and resilience. Just like in the current drought the plants need to continually seek out any opportunity for the waters to give them life, we must look every day to show we can be sustained through the word of God and our actions reaching in to the community in ways that adds life and does not detract from that. Being people with positive and caring ways allows us to receive the same in return. May the mighty cedar tree of Assyria be a lived out example here at Faith through our actions, community spirit and appreciation that every member needs us to share the living waters through our encouragement, support and love. I ask that we each strive these next weeks to show our own strengths and be a blessing to others so they too feel precious in this place here at Faith and beyond.

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Elements taken from: https://biblehub.com/sermons/ezekiel/31-7.htm