Friday, December 27, 2019

Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

It is St. John's day, which is the name-day of my late father. This early American carol was one of his favorites. It invokes images of Eden and the lost earthly paradise, while bringing to mind the Tree of Life which is the Cross. From Hymns and Carols of Christmas:
1. The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit and always green:
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.

2. His beauty doth all things excel:
By faith I know, but ne'er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.

3. For happiness I long have sought,
And pleasure dearly I have bought:
I missed of all; but now I see
'Tis found in Christ the apple tree.

4. I'm weary with my former toil,
Here I will sit and rest awhile:
Under the shadow I will be,
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.

5. This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
It keeps my dying faith alive;
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.
From The Thinking Housewife: "The lyrics were written by an unknown poet in the 18th century and call to mind the tradition in the Middle Ages of decorating Christmas trees with apples, symbolic of the Tree of Knowledge." (Read more.)

The Tree of Life and Death


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