One time I stopped in at the nursery on Herschel Street, and I asked the young assistant if he could help me find two plants. “I can help you,” he said, “I know this place inside out. What do you want?”
I said, ”Psalm One describes two little trees: one planted near running water, and one planted in a barren waste. I want two little similarly dissimilar potted plants to set up in church to illustrate my sermon.”
The young man said, “I better go get the owner.”
Jeremiah borrowed the imagery of the Psalm for our first reading. It is a fine little parable. We can think of that tree that bears fruit in due season as ourselves when our days are passed in steady response to the grace of God that the Bible pictures as a stream of living water.
If, instead of depending on God’s grace to keep us going, we resort to tobacco, alcohol, drugs, indulgence in idle talk, then we will be like a barren bush in a lava waste.