"The cross is the most universal symbol of Christianity.
But often we forget that the symbol of
our salvation was originally a tree growing
somewhere, probably among many other trees.
Those who cut it down had not the slightest idea that it
would one day become the most universal symbol of
millions upon millions of Christians.
They thought nothing about the fact that on that tree God would
be crucified in order to reconcile the world to himself;
that on that tree redemption was to flow from God to mankind
in a once-and-for-all act of self-sacrifice." ...
"This is the tree which causes discomfort to the world,
which has turned the world upside-down.
It is the tree which the world cannot erase,
cannot get rid of, and cannot forget.
"The tree of the cross has built bridges across rivers and valleys;
it has brought people of different backgrounds together;
it has tom down barriers and pierced through walls of separation;
it has crossed oceans and travelled afar to tell people the good
news which it heard one Friday morning two thousand years ago.
Indeed this tree has been persecuted, whacked with axes, shot at with bullets, hanged, beaten, given to wild beasts, torn to pieces, chopped up, ostracized, burned, laughed at, condemned,
and made to suffer many other things.
This tree bears upon itself thousands of scars and wounds.
Yet in spite of them all, it has continued to heal the sick, to bring hope to the desperate, to comfort the oppressed, to guide the lost, to feed the
hungry, to shelter the poor, to inspire the anxious, to illumine the intellectual, to challenge the fearless, to save the condemned and to meet the needs of every generation and every human situation.
What a tree!"