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In the Greek Islands there is place where you can seek out the home of the famous Hippocrates – the founder of modern medicine. There you will find an olive tree that supposedly dates back to the days of Hippocrates. That would make the tree nearly 2,400 years old.


The trunk of the tree is huge but completely hollow. It has an occasional leaf here or there and might produce a few olives each year. There are poles holding a few of it’s branches up.


The tree of Hippocrates can by definition be called a tree. By nature it still shows the essentials of an olive tree. But it has long since fulfilled it’s function.


Tourists files up from all over every year to inspect this ancient tree – having some link to a dim history.


But in all the fields around the tree are hundreds of olive groves in all directions. The strong healthy young trees with narrow trunks are full of leaves and produce thousands of olives each year.


Do you see the challenge for the church. The church must keep it’s distinct characteristics. It must be a church by its nature but it cannot stop functioning. We must ensure that the church is more than just an honorable relic of the past. The church must be more than that. We must produce good fruit each day of the year.

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