This title comes from a song that was sung by my late sister, Ruth when she was in high school. Some of the words I recall is: "Where O where Is Love? Does it come from up above, or is it underneath the willow tree that I've been dreaming of ...
"Where, oh where is he...who I close my eyes to see. Will I ever know the sweet hello that's mean for only me?"
Everyone is searching for love. Those words have taken on a new significance since my teen age years.
Many years later, my thoughts turn to a scriptural passage of a man called Nathanael where Jesus mentions him in (John 1:50) as sitting under a fig tree. "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these."
The church feast yesterday, on our way to finding Pascha, the third Sunday of Great Lent, is "Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross. The faithful commemorate by preparation during Holy Week, the Crucifixion of Jesus. The Cross is made from the wood of the tree. Finding "life" is a struggle and to find Him requires sacrifice which includes humility and pain. Nathanael was under a fig tree, when Philip found him, sharing the good news that he found Him, who was Jesus of Nazareth. Nathanael was found to be sceptical. (John 1:46) "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?' Philip said to him, "Come and see." This invitation is present still today.
Later, we hear of a fig tree which is wilted and dead, cursed and withered in a prophetic act, signifying judgment. The cross for us is victory over death and destruction, for those who find Him. Christ and His cross go hand in hand. It is through His death on the wood of the cross, that we can have life. He is the first born of the dead.
Another reference to the fig tree is in (Rev.6:13). "As a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind." This reference was taken from the entitled Seal Six: Cosmic Disturbances. Today, as in the old testament, we see many who have fallen away from the author of life and creator of all. A small breeze comes their way, and they fall from the tree of Life. The cross is planted firmly on earth. All we need to do is embrace it.
He saw Nathanael and He can also see you. Whether you are hiding under the tree, or kneeling at the foot of the cross, none will escape the wind.
"Where is He, who I close my eyes to see,"? she sang. Will He be in a fancy place, with all the foods you can eat? Or the most comfortable? The best society can offer...entertainment and good times, after all, it's all about the party. Recalling the birth of Christ, in a cave, it was a very humble scene, (none of the above).
There was another tree, in the middle of the garden of Eden. This tree through Adam's gluttony led to a broken world. The tree of life offers us through the Holy Cross, the way to love, and life eternal through Him who bore it up for us. The choice is ours and ours alone.
The song continues..."Must I travel far and wide, until I am beside the one I can mean something too..." Where, O Where, O Where Is Love?"
Scripture references: Taken from the Orthodox Study Bible
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