You know what that is, right?
Yea, neither did I when I first saw the word, although I have seen it in action.
Marcescence is the retention of dead plant organs that normally are shed. It’s the ‘holding-on’ of dead leaves through the winter months. We see it today in our shumard red oaks. A “marcescent” leaf is one that has withered but not fallen (Latin marcescere, to wither, languish). Still connected to a branch, a marcescent leaf appears to be alive, but inside, it’s no different than other leaves on the ground.
Figuratively, a marcescent person is someone who is withering away; someone who has the appearance of life, but isn’t growing. We live in a world of people who are languishing, discouraged, spiritually dead. And there’s nothing they can do to change it on their own. Like a marcescent leaf, the only thing that will change their situation is new life from the tree.
As the weather warms up with the coming of spring, marcescent leaves still hanging on to their branches will soon be pushed off as new leaves begin to grow. The dead and languishing will be replaced with those alive and flourishing.
In the same way, it’s only the life of Jesus Christ that can regenerate new life within us.
“If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Marcescence is replaced with the presence of Jesus Christ by faith and the power of His Spirit within us to regenerate new life.
As you see the remaining marcescent leaves still hanging on to trees today get pushed out in the next couple weeks, give thanks to God for new life that comes each spring. Give thanks to Jesus for the new life we have in Him. “The old has passed away, and see, the new has come!”
Follow me…as I follow Jesus Christ.