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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

6 June 2014: Joyce Perry, Petersfield United Reformed Church

Wedding Trees

June is the month for weddings! 6th June is the anniversary of my parents' wedding, 87 years ago. 2014 has marked our 60 years together. St John's gospel has Jesus' ministry beginning with a terrific wedding feast. Can you see where my thoughts have been directed?

Over the past 30 years we have become familiar with the road between Stroud and Ramsdean and among the landmarks along the way I soon noticed a beautiful oak tree. In summer its leaves made a full, rounded shape; in winter the intricate pattern of the branches was revealed. But this 'tree' had not one but two trunks! The branches sprang from both of them, some intertwining in the middle, while others spread out to one side or the other.

This became for me a vivid illustration of a good marriage: two trunks each firmly rooted in its own past; a union of branches mingled closely together, each helping to form the heart of the tree but each also reaching out to the world around and to the heavens above, as they grew in unison. Jesus often left his hearers to work out the meanings of his stories for themselves; I leave you to ponder this picture further.

P.S. In the storms last autumn, one of the trees (the bigger!) was up-rooted and blown down. The survivor is now misshapen, ragged, incomplete .... What do you make of that? And I wonder what it will look like in 5,10, 20 years time?

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Herald on 6 June; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

MenUnited will be in action again this Saturday - all men are invited to jave breakfast together at the United Reformed Church

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