Monday, September 10, 2012

The Mystery of the Two Trees

No, I am not talking about the two trees described in the Garden of Eden; that is another story.  On the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 tragedy I like to reflect on two other trees.  This story came to my attention just recently after reading a book called “The Harbinger.” The book is a novel but some of the events mentioned are more than fiction.  They happened on 9-11-2001 and thereafter.
“The bricks have fallen down,
but we will rebuild with (hewn) dressed stone;
the fig trees (sycamore) have been felled,
but we will replace them with cedars (pine).”
As the story goes, when the World Trade towers fell, some debris hit a sycamore tree which had stood nearby St. Paul’s Chapel.  The branches of the 100-year-old tree protected the chapel which became a center of peace and rescue in the aftermath.  It is the same church where in 1789 newly inaugurated President George Washington worshipped after he gave a prophetic warning at Federal Hall in New York City. He declared that America’s prosperity and protection were dependent upon its adherence to God. Later, the political leaders of the young nation gathered at St. Paul’s Chapel to commit the nation’s future to God’s purposes.
As by Divine guidance the sycamore tree was replaced by a pine tree (of the cedar family).
What is the significance of the sycamore tree?
Traditionally, the sycamore symbolizes protection, divinity, eternity, and strength. It appears in the Egyptian "Book of the Dead," and the Bible. The Lafayette Sycamore that towers over Brandywine Battlefield Park in Pennsylvania was already 168 years old when it sheltered the troops of Generals Washington and Lafayette at the Battle of Brandywine in 1777.
A Sycamore Saves St.Paul's Chapel

On September 11, 2001, an ancient Sycamore tree stood between the small Saint Paul's Chapel of 1766, and the World Trade Center. The brunt of the forces released by the collapsing Twin Towers caused the 100-year-old tree to fall. The tree fell in such a way that its spreading branches created a shield which absorbed shock waves from the seeming nuclear impact and preserved the historic 18th century Saint Paul's Chapel of Trinity Church and its ancient tombstones from falling debris, including a direct hit from an I-beam, and what should have been certain destruction.
Though the tree itself did not survive, the sycamore's role as the chapel's protector has been memorialized by Pennsylvania artist Steve Tobin. Tobin cast the tree's remaining stump and root system in bronze to create a 20-foot-long, 12-foot high life-like sculpture. The piece was installed in the Trinity courtyard and dedicated on Sept. 11, 2005.
On November 22, 2003 a 21-foot Norway spruce was planted in the northwest corner of St. Paul’s chapel’s churchyard. An inaugural lighting ceremony was held one week later.  It was planted in place of the destroyed sycamore tree which was hit by debris from the collapsing WTC towers.  It became known as Tree of Hope and was decorated with lights during the Christmas season.
Are the trees part of God’s judgment on America? Are they the visible fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy? 
I know one thing for sure: America is not following God’s will at this time.  If we take God out of our schools, out off our government, and everywhere else in everyday life, how can we expect Him to continue to protect us, not to think of blessing this country any longer? 
I came to America in the 70s to participate in public speaking tours of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon who spoke on the New Future of Christianity and New Hope for America. He proclaimed that God is leaving America because of the way people are seeking to solve their problems without God.
“Let us for a moment look at the world we face today.  All the problems of the world really stem from the problems of people.  Our troubled world is the visible expression of the troubled mind of men.  And the problems of men come from the absence of God in their hearts.  This is the real cause of ills of our world—the absence of God in men’s hearts.  Today men are seeking solutions to their problems without seeking God.  But without God there can be no solutions.”
~ Rev. Moon speaking September 18, 1974 in Madison Square Garden
In 1789 New York City was the capital of the new United States.  It was also the year when the new elected president, George Washington, was inaugurated as the first president of these United States. On April 30, 1789 George Washington took the Oath as the First President and gave his acceptance speech at Federal Hall.  To this day the statue of George Washington stands in front of the new building on 26 Wall Street.  After the official business the new president and all present Senate and House of Representatives walked to St. Paul’s chapel and bowed their heads together in prayer to consecrate the new nation’s future into the hands of God.  St. Paul’s Chapel is the very ground where our nation was committed to the Almighty and one could call it “Holy Ground.”
When we commemorate this September 11, let us pray to our God that we can bring him back to this country.  Let us align ourselves with our Forefathers and the founders of this nation to bring God back by giving Him his proper place in our everyday lives.


Yusun said...

I completely agree! We need to bring God back into this country.

Sherry Campbell said...

Well said - Completely agree. I struggle in my own personal life to be totally dependant on God. I believe this will be a place all of us will be very soon.