Looking gnarled, lined and rather thick around the middle is not how we desire to be. Our culture does not look at age with kind eyes. Instead, youthfulness is revered.
However, in the Garden of Gethsemane stand ancient olive trees stooped majestically under the walls of Jerusalem. Amazingly, these solid trees are still bearing fruit.
If only we viewed each additional year of our lives as an opportunity to produce worthwhile results instead of longing to go back.
Some of the trees in the Garden of Gethsemane are thought to be more than two thousand years old. The actual trees under which Jesus with his disciples liked to hang out. This was their special place.
These trees were pulled down by the Romans in 70AD. However, the olive tree is not destroyed easily. It will grow again if it has not been uprooted.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, new shoots grew out of the destruction and the trees became strong again. It is the new shoots that produce and hang with olives.
The green olives ripen, turning black, after the soaking rain this time of year. Then they are ready to be picked, pressed and produce olive oil.
The word Gethsemane means “olive pressing”. An appropriate name for the place where Jesus was pressed on all sides in an agony that reached to the depths of his soul. Today, in the Garden stands the Church of the Agony, built over the stone where it is believed Jesus prayed not for his will but God’s will be done.
Yet, out of that pressing shoots new life – our life.
We too, even though we may feel cut down by difficulties, or we no longer have use as the years advance, need to remember the olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane and draw strength from this ancient example.
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