This Giant Oak tree metaphor picture comes from a booklet I read a few years ago entitled “Authenticy” – by Bil Hybels (leader of Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Illinois, USA)
The story that this picture illustrates is in the Introduction, which is sub-titled, “being honest with God and others”. Below is the story, as related by Bill Hybels in the booklet.
“Years ago I read a story about a small community that had a gigantic oak tree in the middle of the town square. The tree was the pride of the townspeople. It had been there long before most of them were born and would undoubtedly outlive them. Then one day storm winds cracked the tree in half, revealing a trunk filled with disease. A symbol of strength on the outside, the oak had been weak and vulnerable on the inside. For years it had fooled its unknowing admirers.
That story still haunts me.
I believe the greatest challenge facing the church is the disease eating away at its power and integrity – inauthentic Christianity. In the pulpits and in the pews, there are too many inconsistent Christians.”
Sermon/teaching theme suggestions:
There are lots of uses this story & my picture could be put too, not least of which would be a pastor, preachers, evangelists call on the Christian church to be MORE authentic, if you think it isn’t being!