From Creation to Revelation – A Story of Love
On Palm Sunday, the White Plains Presbyterian Church was presented with six new festal banners created by the children and youth of the congregation during Lent, under the direction of our multi-talented Director of Christian Education, Lynn Dunn, M.Div. The banners portray Salvation History, the record of God’s mighty acts among us for our salvation, from Creation to Revealtion.
Central to each banner is the image of a tree. On the Creation banner we see in the foreground the vibrant Tree of Life. A little further back stands the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, already dropping its autumn leaves. Through the garden runs the River of Life which waters all things and allows them to flourish. The sky is filled with illumination and a flock of migrating geese, the Wild Goose being a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Other trees include the burning bush; the ‘tree beside still water’ of Psalm 1, representing those whose lives are informed by Torah; the shoot from the stump of Jesse, representing hope for those in exile; the Cross, capturing the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and the eschatological Tree of Life in Rev. 22, with fruit for every season and whose ‘leaves are for the healing of the nations. Nested details in each banner, and the cumulative effect of the six together, provide ample invitation for meditation and praise.
If a tree is central to each banner, the River is consistent, a symbol of God’s overflowing goodness that nourished us and never fails. In this we see God doing what God always does, giving God’s very self to that which is not God.
The banners were presented during worship in a traditional Easter Vigil format, reading of God’s mighty acts and linking them, through prayer, to the life of the Christian community gathered around font and table. (More photos of each specific banner will soon be available either here or on the church website). Foregrounded by the banners was the presence in our midst of the Word of God, in the Cross, Christ Candle and Scripture.
The readings were as follows:
PRESENTATION OF THE FIRST BANNER: THE TREE OF LIFE
The Story of Creation (Genesis 2: 4b-9)
PRESENTATION OF THE SECOND BANNER: THE BURNING BUSH
Israel’s Deliverance by God’s Hand (Exodus 3: 1-8a, 13-15)
PRESENTATION OF THE THIRD BANNER: TREES BESIDE THE WATER
The Two Ways (Psalm 1)
PRESENTATION OF THE FOURTH BANNER: THE STUMP OF JESSE
The Peaceful Kingdom (Isaiah 11: 1-11a)
PRESENTATION OF THE FIFTH BANNER: THE CROSS
The Resurrection of Jesus (Mark 16: 1-8)
PRESENTATION OF THE SIXTH BANNER: FOR THE HEALING OF THE NATIONS
The Leaves of the Trees (Revelation 22: 1-7)