This morning I want to offer you one method for moving from saying to praying, one method for reclaiming the extraordinary power of Jesus’ prayer. C.S. Lewis called the method “festooning” and how it works is that you take the Lord’s Prayer word by word, phrase by phrase, and write down your thoughts, your feelings, your associations, your questions—anything that comes to mind.
This is the fourth and last in a short series of sermons about trees. By now you are probably wondering. While you can see how meditating on a tree might get a person thinking about God, what does all this “treeology” have to do with Christianity? Isn’t this all a bit New Age-y? I promised in the weekly email to talk about Jesus today, and I want to begin by reminding you of the old Shel Silverstein book, The Giving Tree.
Now it’s been four years. So far, I’m cancer-free. What the drugs have beaten down, the trees have helped to build back up. If I were a tree, you could count my growth rings. And as I said then, I say now: "I am grateful that God (and my church!) has given me the time and opportunity to be with the trees, because by God’s grace, they have enabled me to be free of fear and anxiety and to feel full of life and faith despite my diagnosis. And I do pray that my reflections have planted a few seeds in others. If my 'tree therapy' encourages even one person to seek their own healing in the forest or gives hope and strength to one person who is struggling through a challenging season, then I give God all thanks and praise."