THE WORD IS
The reddish color of the mountain ash in the fall captures the attention of people and causes them to admire this tree, which the Finns of ancient times considered to be a holy tree. They recognized the beauty of the tree, but erred in worshiping the created instead of the Creator.
Now too, people see the artistry in Nature and cannot but admire it. But do we see in Nature the results of the Creator's paint brush, and do we honor Him?
The mountain ash in the fall reminds us of another tree, which is incomparable in its beauty. This tree also has a reddish color. We can truly call it a holy tree. It is the cross of Jesus, God's Son. It has been colored by His blood. From this tree the crucified, suffering and dying Savior of the world looks at us, His heart filled with love, and says: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). This love revealed in the Gospel transforms a cruel and shocking scene into a scene of beauty before which our heart becomes calm and opens up to the word of the Gospel.
The mountain ash in the fall reddens before its winter death to awaken to new life in the spring. Jesus' Cross was red because of death, but it was the red of atonement and subtitionary death. "One died for all" (2 Cor. 5:14). The primary cause of death, sin, has now been conquered. Christ lives and everyone who believes in Him lives with Him. The Cross is the tree of life.
You, mountain ash, are a tree of beauty, but more beautiful are you, O blessed Cross of Golgatha! Your message enters the heart and brings forgiveness and peace. O blessed Cross, you are a symbol, but Christ You are God and our Salvation. To You be praise and glory forever!