Are you a gardener? Do you love the feel of the soil running through your hands? Do you have ‘green fingers’ and seem to get anything you plant to grow? Or do you just enjoy sitting in a garden that somebody else has created as a little bit of heaven on earth? I fall into both categories. I always thoroughly enjoy sitting in my garden or visiting gardens such as Saughton Park or the Botanics but I love above all, actually gardening. Tending and tilling the soil encouraging plants to grow, especially roses and other flowers. Whenever I garden I often think of the earth’s first gardeners. Adam and Eve in that fabled Garden of Eden.
“11Then God said, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.’ And it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day ... 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” Genesis 1:11-13 and 2:15
As we know, all went well in that garden until the gardeners were tempted by forbidden fruit. I bet they wished that had not eaten that ‘apple’ and had just continued to care for the garden as God intended. Those of us who are gardeners are following in Adam and Eve’s footsteps and I like to think that we are daily sustaining that Garden of Eden, that has now spread across the world.
Creation is a wonderful thing and we are called to share with God the stewardship of the Earth. So by gardening we do just that. By caring for plants we care for the Earth and the whole of Creation in the little bit of God’s Kingdom that we live in. What we need to do is to encourage those who don’t garden to do so, or to care for Creation in ways that do not exploit it or damage it. We can turn the climate crisis around by gardening more, by planting more trees and flowers and sustainable crops and we do it for future generations as well as for our own enjoyment. Imagine planting a sapping tree today, none of us will see it come to maturity but the generations below us will thank us for our foresight and efforts.
Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all living things, please bless our gardens and the gardens of the world that have been so carefully and lovingly prepared. Bless the seeds we have planted, that they will bring forth a plentiful crop. Bless the sun and water you provide to us, so our crop can be nourished. Bless our labour that we may continue to learn and grow through this experience. Amen.