I love my book tree just as much unlit by day as lit by night. It’s gracious like that.
Like all beautiful and bookish things, there’s more to this book tree than just a tapered stack of tomes. There is truth. Loads of it. Mostly about the Church and her people.
Lesson 1: If one book falls, they all fall. (Really – is it too obvious to state?)
Lesson 2: Each book brings something unique to the tree – colors, textures, topics, covers, authors, views, titles. The variety is astonishing.
Lesson 3: The tree is made entirely of books that were either destined for the trash pile or stacked in a junk shop before being rescued, bought for a price, carried home, and given new life.
Lesson 4: Some of the books have divergent views on such things as history, humanity, and society, but they all agree to play together nicely and be part of this particular tree.
Lesson 5: Together, these books make something bigger, better, and more beautiful than they do alone.
Lesson 6: Even the smallest amount of book tree light pierces the surrounding darkness.
Lesson 7: The inner book tree lights radiate the space within, then spill out the cracks, tumble over the pages, and radiate the space without.
Lesson 8: The seemingly ordinary books are quite as necessary as the fancifully decorated books.
Lesson 9: The tree stands tall and true only because it is built on a foundation that is strong and level (and also happens to be made out of an old shed door decorated in crayon by the neighbor girl).
Lesson 10: The tree brings me joy. Great, great joy.
So should the Church. And so can the Church. But often she does not because (sometimes) each of her books determines to write its own story, construct its own foundation, and be its own individual tree.
And yet the Lord loves her (and her books) still. Glory be, that is Good News indeed.
[Just one more thing…]
My particular book tree has its own peculiar mix of doctrines that I discovered only after constructing it. (NOTE: The views of my tree do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or its author.)
My book tree:
embraces teaching that is both didactic and narrative
wallows gleefully in human depravity
is egalitarian – or maybe complementarian?
is confidently heaven-bound
warns against backsliding
deals with behavior lapses simply and swiftly (and – let’s hope – privately)
encourages daily surrender and sanctification
puts a high priority on children’s ministries
cares for those in need
follows a congregational form of government
and lastly, has a definitive view of baptism.