Ezekiel 17:22-24 (NRSV)
22 Thus says the Lord God:
I myself will take a sprig
from the lofty top of a cedar;
I will set it out.
I will break off a tender one
from the topmost of its young twigs;
I myself will plant it
on a high and lofty mountain.
23 On the mountain
height of Israel
I will plant it,
in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,
and become a noble cedar.
Under it every kind of bird will live;
in the shade of its branches will nest
winged creatures of every kind.
24 All the trees
of the field shall know
that I am the Lord.
I bring low the high tree,
I make high the low tree;
I dry up the green tree
and make the dry tree flourish.
I the Lord have spoken;
I will accomplish it.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human
point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point
of view, we know him no longer in that way.
17 So if anyone
is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed
away; see, everything has become new!
18 All this is
from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given
us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 that is, in
Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their
trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation
20 So we are ambassadors
for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat
you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
21 For our sake
he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become
the righteousness of God.