The height of summer brings wonderful sights,scents and colours into our flower gardens. Allotments are showing signs of vegetables and fruits for future use.
Our gardens can also mean so much more to us.They may evoke memories of those we have loved, of places visited or promises of things to come. We carefully nurture the last peony or hollyhock because we remember where each first bloomed and can reflect on happy times.We treasure plants given for special days or memories, but we also love the daisies that invade the lawn prior to overlooked mowing. In all these experiences there are moments of perfect peace and time for reflection and contemplation.
The Bible starts with creation and the fact that a man and woman were created and placed in a garden named Eden.We may ponder on why God chose a garden.
Adam and Eve had a duty to be the custodians of the garden. Down the ages the Garden of Eden has become symbolic of an paradise. All would have gone well if they had agreed to God's only rule in that one tree bearing fruit was forbidden to them. However they were tempted to eat of this tree of "good and evil" in an attempt to be equal with the very creator who had made them out of the "dust of the ground .”
The consequences of their actions were to reverberate down the ages for the relationship between God and people had now changed. Initially Adam and Eve were banned from the garden and in the long term death came upon all mankind. Read the whole sad story in Genesis chapters 1 to 3.
Having reflected upon gardens, we can hardly leave things there.Many gardens are mentioned in the Bible and another one immediately came into my mind. The Garden of Gethsemane takes us forward to the time of Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus was born of Mary and lived as other mortals upon the earth and was subject to all human experiences.The differences were that if he overcame sin he would be the saviour of mankind. We can barely comprehend the enormity of this pressure when we know how his life ended. The Garden of Gethsemane provides insights into his thoughts on the day before his death.
We have looked at the great significance of two gardens in scripture. When we consider the wonders of God’s creation and intentions for this world we need quiet contemplation to understand them.
Psalm 46,verse 1 has this phrase, Be still and know that I am God
A quiet garden is a good place for contemplating the great truths that have been considered here.