The Gloria Dei Fig Tree
One of the most prominent features of the Gloria Dei property is our fig tree, in the middle of the lawn area off Nutmeg Avenue. We wait anxiously for it to fruit every year, sometime around the fourth of July, and it continues throughout the summer. Our neighbors frequently come and pick the juicy figs to use for their own uses, and they are welcome. There are more than enough figs to go around. Some of you may remember when the youth sold some “Gloria Dei Fig Jam” made from the figs of our own tree.
The Fig Tree in the Bible
This fig tree was planted by Ruth Hummel with her Sunday School class many years ago, so it has a long history at Gloria Dei. The fig tree is a common tree in the Bible as well. Adam and Eve used fig leaves to hide their nakedness after the fall into sin. Old Testament prophets Micah and Jeremiah used the fig tree as a metaphor for faithfulness: a barren fig tree is compared to faithless Israel (Jeremiah 8:13, Micah 7:1). Jesus cursed a fig tree in Matthew 21 as an example of an “enacted prophecy.” As He cursed the fig tree with barrenness, He showed how Jerusalem would be destroyed in 70 AD for being faithless. Yet at the same time, He praised faithfulness,
Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
This is a good lesson for us to remember every time we look at our beautiful fig tree.
Faithfulness, even when it is difficult, especially when it is difficult, is everything to God. No matter what the size is of our flock, if we are faithful to Christ and His teaching, we are Christ’s church.
There is nothing greater than being Christ’s church.
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4
So think about that, every time you look at our fig tree. Think about faithfulness, think about Christ, think about how Gloria Dei can remain faithful to Him always.
God bless you!
Gloria Dei Fig Jam
Makes 3 pint jars
- 6 cups coarsely chopped fresh figs (about 3 pounds)
- 4 cups/800g granulated sugar
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 packet liquid pectin or 2 Tb powdered pectin
- Prepare a boiling water bath and 3 regular mouth 1 pint jars for water canning.
Combine the figs and sugar in a large pot and stir well to help the sugar pull the juice from the figs. When the mixture starts to look juicy, place the pot over high heat and bring to an active simmer. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the figs have started to break down and the liquid starts to look syrupy.
Add the lemon juice and pectin and return the figs to an active boil for 5 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and ladle the jam into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Source: Marisa McClellan, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, 2011.