This is one of my favorite less familiar carols. It might seem strange to compare Jesus to an apple tree but the themes of this hymn are so true. The world’s pleasures will cost you dearly and won’t last. We will only find our satisfaction and rest in Jesus Christ. He feeds our faith.
The tree of life my soul hath seen
Laden with fruit and always green
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree
His beauty doth all things excel
By faith I know but ne’er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree
For happiness I long have sought
And pleasure dearly I have bought
I missed of all but now I see
‘Tis found in Christ the apple tree
I’m weary with my former toil
Here I will sit and rest awhile
Under the shadow I will be
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree
This fruit doth make my soul to thrive
It keeps my dying faith alive
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree
The text first appeared in hymnals in the late 1700’s but the author is unknown. The tune in the video above is by Elizabeth Poston (1905-1987).
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.