Monday, September 8, 2008

the acorn

My grandson, Peter, found an acorn near our house yesterday.  It was young and green (like him)!  I researched acorns and learned some interesting background about them.  Acorns are a major source of food, not only for squirrels but for many animals.  Birds like woodpeckers and blue jays and larger mammals like bears and deer eat them.  In fact, in autumn, acorns make up about 25% of the deer diet (locally they supplement that with some of the tasty plants in our own yards!).  Acorns actually take a while to mature...between 6 and 24 months.  There are people groups that eat acorns as well.  It turns out that are rich in fats, proteins and minerals.  The Koreans make acorn jelly and acorn noodles, for example.  But the most fascinating fact about acorns to me is how they are dispersed to grow into new oak trees.  You see, the acorn is a relatively heavy seed and it falls directly beneath its parent oak tree.  This isn't an ideal location for a new tree to grow because it would be too much in the shade and competing root structure of the parent.  It needs some help to be carried a little farther away.  This is where the squirrels come in.  They store acorns in various "caches" some distance from the original tree, buried in the ground.  They generally remember where they've left them, but occasionally forget.  Fortunately enough of these displaced acorns are left uneaten to germinate and grow into new oak trees.  This reminds me of the Gospel.  The Gospel is, at the same time, great food for living and a wonderful seed that brings new life.  However, the Gospel of Jesus needs to be carried some distance from each one who already has "germinated".  All the "Oak trees" of the Lord aren't intended to be concentrated in one place.  We who have found the Gospel to be the best food for life should also be carrying this precious seed to new locations as a natural part of our spiritual lives.
Genesis 1:11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so.
Matthew 13:37-38 He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
Rob Smith

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