The righteous man is a green tree planted by a river, the people of God are cedars and palms in the temple, the lover in the Song of Songs climbs his beloved to gather the fruit of love.

People are trees, and trees are ladders to heaven. Jesus is the tree of life, on whom we ascend to the Father. In Christ and the Spirit, each Christian is also a ladder to heaven: Husbands for their wives and vice versa, parents for their children and vice versa, pastors for their people and vice versa.

Nobody climbs a shrub to touch the clouds. We need to stretch all the way up to the sky if others are going to ascend on us. We can’t boost anyone higher than we’ve grown ourselves.

We grow to heaven by persevering in basics. Read, hear, inwardly digest the word. Pray without ceasing. Sing Psalms and hymns. Feast at the Lord’s table. Share your gifts with the body. Show hospitality. Bear witness to those who are outside Christ.

Do all this in the power of the Spirit, and we will become a forest where each tree lifts others to God.

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