Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground breathed into his nostrils the breath of life …Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:7a-15
Gardens must be very close to the heart of God because it was the first thing he created on earth. It was beautiful to behold and the fruits of the garden were good to eat. God even created a gardener in his image as a companion to till and delight in the garden. By scooping up a handful of dirt to form Adam, God showed us our connection to the earth. Our bodies contain the same elements as the earth, and are daily nourished and replenished by the earth’s nutrients and minerals as we eat and drink. It is not surprising therefore that we – most of us at least – feel a deep connection with and orientation towards the earth through our gardens.
Sadly mankind let that idyllic garden slip through our fingers and so we find ourselves mostly “East of Eden” and separated from the Gardener. But the dream of that idyllic place never left our hearts and at times we are reminded of it and rediscover the garden that remains hidden in the ordinary, the unexpected and the significance of timeless moments. Celebrating Christmas was such a moment as we were reminded once more that Christ came to restore our connection with paradise. He came to show the face of God among us so that we would remember that once upon a time there was a garden where man and God were companions, while pointing to a future time when the garden will be restored and God will be all and in everything.
Prayer: Oh God, we weep as we bring before you our gardens gone to wrack and ruin. We pray that you will restore our lives and make them new through your forgiveness and love for the people you created in your image. Amen