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The kingdom of God: Like an olive tree or a cornfield?

Posted by on Jul 28, 2011 in blog links | 5 comments

The kingdom of God: Like an olive tree or a cornfield?

Arthur at “The Voice of One Crying Out in Suburbia” has written a very good post called “God’s covenant people are an olive tree not a corn field.”

The post compares the olive tree to the cornfield, and suggests that God’s children here on earth should look more like the olive tree than corn plants.

But, Arthur suggests we often look more like corn plants.

Here’s part of his post:

Olive trees have deep roots and many branches. There are many different branches but all of them are interconnected. The branches on an olive tree are interdependent, all drawing the source of sustenance from the same root system.

Sometimes it seems that God’s people are more like a corn field than an olive tree. Corn plants in a field grow alongside but compete for resources. They look identical from a distance but when you get closer there are slight variations.

Whether it is competing for nutrients, bees to pollinate, sunlight, water, whatever, corn plants are competing with one another even though they are after the same goal: making ears of corn.

You can read the full post at Arthur’s site (follow the link above).

What do you think of Arthur’s metaphor/parable?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 7-28-2011

    Kinda corny if you ask me 🙂

    I think he sees too much corn up in Indiana.

    Just kidding.

    Seriously, I do like the analogy of “competing for resources”

    When I read it I pictured a bunch of church buildings anchoring down using their own root system and competing for the same people in the community.


  2. 7-29-2011

    Swanny, all I see out of my backdoor is corn. Out of the side door? Corn. The other way? My barns and then…corn.

  3. 7-29-2011

    Even for a city boy, this imagery works very well. It helps us see our culture’s high valuation on individualism and independence vs the culture of Christians who recognize they are connected into a single trunk. It works for “churches” as well as for Christians in moving from competition to build our own kingdoms/reputations to co-laboring together in His.

  4. 7-29-2011


    Well, we need the best ears of corn… why should we care what happens to the stalks around us?




    Yeah, I like the imagery as well. But, isn’t it the American way to make ourselves look better by making others look worse? Why wouldn’t that work for the church too?


  5. 7-29-2011

    Yes, you’re right. We have our own quaint way of “standing on the shoulders” of others to reach higher!