Can We Help Zoraya? Part 3—Episode 14

Can We Help Zoraya? Part 3—Episode 14 April 28, 2024

Source: Screenshot:

Partial, Edited Transcript

I want to end [this 3-part series on Zoraya] on a religious note. You’ll understand the photo … this beautiful photograph comes from Pixabay, from Felix Mittermeyer. You can see the credit here on the screen. But I know someone who can help Zoraya, right? And so what I want to do is I want to conclude with a brief Bible study. For if I could talk to Zoraya, after I told her all about research from Harvard University, I would invite her to do a Bible study. Maybe not with me. I’m an old fuddy duddy. But maybe with her girlfriends, right? 

The Tree of Life

And I chose as a theme for this  Bible study the Tree of Life. Look at the photograph. If you read the article over at the Free Press. (I had the URL on one of the screens.) But the tattoo you see on her arm is actually of the Tree of Life. This is a very strong Biblical theme, right? She’s got a Biblical theme tattooed on her arm. But it’s upside down. Sort of a message of hopelessness there in that. But I think a very appropriate Bible study for Zoraya would be, you know, Bible passages that talk about the Tree of Life. 

Genesis to Revelation

So  you know the Tree of Life, of course, starts in Genesis, right? So the Bible begins and ends with the Tree of Life. It begins in the Bible with the Book of Genesis and the Tree of Life. And it ends with the Book of Revelation and the Tree of Life. 

And so you can sum up the Bible in the following way. When we lose God—we leave God—we leave the Tree of Life. But when we return to God, as we do here in one of the final chapters of the Book of Revelation, we return to the Tree of Life.

This is a beautiful passage from the Book of Revelation, chapter 22. This is Revised Standard Version. Let me read this to you.

“Then the angel showed me the river of the Water of Life.” [Try to visualize this.] “Bright as crystal flowing from the Throne of God and the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. Also, on either side of the river, the Tree of Life, with its 12 kinds of fruit yielding its fruit each month. And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

Proverbs 3: 18

Such a beautiful passage. And then this is … the first passage being from the New Testament … this comes from the Old Testament, from Proverbs. The Book of Proverbs 3: 18. This is about God’s wisdom. That’s who the “she” refers to here.

“She [God’s wisdom] is a Tree of Life to those who lay hold of her. Those who hold her fast are called happy.”

And so where do we where do we get God’s wisdom? Right. So God’s wisdom is being called the Tree of Life. … [See the show for more content!]

About John Gravino
John Gravino is the author of The Immoral Landscape of the New Atheism, which was the topic of a health and spirituality seminar at Duke Medical School. He continues to explore the intersection of health and religion and the other big questions of life right here at Patheos. You can read more about the author here.
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