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Discover Hope
by Tom Goodman
April 1, 2015

Botanist Elaine Solowey has successfully grown a palm tree from a seed that's 2,000 years old.

It is the oldest seed ever known to produce a viable young tree, and the news story is a parable about hope.

The seed was discovered 30 years ago during archaeological excavations at Masada.  When she heard of the excavation's findings in 2004, she asked for some of the seeds.

Solowey said she didn't think anything would come of her planting, but then she saw something in the potting soil.  "Much to my astonishment, after five weeks, a small little date shoot came up," she said.  "It was pale, almost whitish green.  The first two leaves were abnormal-looking.  They were very flat and very pale.  The third leaf started to have the striations of a normal date plant.  Now it looks perfectly normal to me."  Another researcher at the botanical center said, "It feels remarkable to see this seed growing, to see it coming out of the soil after two thousand years."

The botanist has brought back to life more than 100 rare or near-extinct species of plants and herbs in a study of ancient natural cures, but this is the oldest seed to ever produce new life.

It's not just a story of seeds; it's a story of hope.

Maybe it's been a long time since you've had any of that.  If so, you can identify with those downcast disciples in Luke 24.  Their hope in all that Jesus had promised them was crushed at the cross, but then they met Jesus alive, victorious over his horrible death, and hope blossomed.

Where there's hope there's life!  As the Canadian musician, Bruce Cockburn, put it:

This world can be better than it is today
You can say I'm a dreamer but that's okay
Without the "Could be" and the "Might have been"
All you've got left is your fragile skin

This Easter Sunday, April 5, we'll look at how Jesus restored hope in those two disciples from Luke 24.  Join us at 10am and discover hope again!

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