We’re Planting Trees
“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  They are planted in the house of the Lᴏʀᴅ; they flourish in the courts of our God.  They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,  to declare that the Lᴏʀᴅ is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”
It is this from the text about the righteous I want us to focus on, verse 14: They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lᴏʀᴅ is upright.
I love this verse because of how it demands that we as Christians think so differently from how others might think. So many of us live inside this strange cultural pressure to always be productive and always on the go. It’s this subtle feeling that our worth is bound up in our ability to get things done and make stuff happen. It is a phenomenon among millennial professionals, something we might call compulsive mobility — it’s the pressure to constantly be doing things, to always have a project in the works, to always keep our eyes open for the next best thing.
And then Psalm 92:14 comes in and says, the righteous will still bear fruit in old age.
We are called to a long arc here. Which means that in our lives we are not mainly about getting things done today or always making the right move, but we’re planting trees. We’re planting trees here. This is so counter-cultural for us. It is the fact that life is more than just today. We are humans with souls, and we have eternity in our hearts, and therefore, we don’t have to get ours now. We don’t have to “seize the day” because, for the Christian, there is always going to be a tomorrow. We don’t have to live in the pressure of keeping our options open and always choosing the best possible scenario, and we don’t have to live in the fear that we are missing out on something better. We’re planting trees here.
Which means, we should not think that we will only make the maximal impact with our lives by being precisely at the right place, but by, wherever you are, being there. It’s not so much about where you plant the tree, but that you know it’s a tree you are planting. And at Cities Church, we want to plant trees.
Psalm 92 tells us, They will still bear fruit in old age.
And this reminds us that we should confess our sins.
So, as we enter into a time of private confession, let me lead us in prayer . . .
Father, forgive us for how nearsighted we can become, for thinking only about today, for letting the tyranny of the urgent define us. Forgive us for never giving thought to what it means that we, in your providence, will be old men and old women one day. We confess, Father, that it is both folly to think that we will never die and to think that when we do die our deaths will be the end. Forgive us for living as if this world is all we have. Make us see rightly. Only by your mercy, God, do we confess our sins to you now. . . .