Lent Reflection

6th April 2022

Sycamore Gap Landscape Northumberland Robin Hood http://www.maxpixel

The sycamore – acer pseudoplananus – is a naturalised tree in Britain, introduced in the Middle Ages. Its Latin name, meaning like a plane, comes from the shape of it leaves which resemble those of a true plane tree. It grows to a height of 35m and has a life span of up to 400 years. Its leaves are attractive to aphids making the tree attractive to aphid predators such as ladybirds. Its single seeded seed pods – samara – are colloquially known as helicopter seeds because they have a spinning action like that of helicopter blades. The sycamore is tolerant of both wind and pollution. Its wood is used to make taint free kitchen utensils as well as furniture, and in Wales is carved to make love spoons. 

In Luke’s Gospel, Zacchaeus the tax collector, being a short person, climbs a sycamore tree so as to gain a view of Jesus. 

When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’ Luke 19: 5, 9-10

When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future. Bernard Meltzer

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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