Gardens. The thought of it just sort of turns me off from the romantic idea of fresh, homegrown produce. The hard work of putting in and maintaining a garden is supposedly worthwhile, but who has the time for keeping up with all that…work? Tilling up hard soil, dropping seeds and keeping them watered and in the right conditions, keeping the weeds and dogs and birds out, and on and on. It seems Soulard Market and Eckert’s Farm are close enough to justify NOT doing all that hard work!
Of course, all that hard work reminds me of the curse of sin and the effects of the Fall. Before taking from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, working the garden of Eden was a joyful experience. But sin brought death–not an immediate return to dust, but the unveiling of “toil”–you know, weeds and such. Because of the Fall, gardens have to be cultivated.
The beauty of salvation is that, in Christ, we have been restored. The physical effects of Adam’s fall is a shadowy illustration of the spiritual effects of sin. Sin is death, and all we offspring of Adam are born thus. But, in Christ–the last Adam–we find restoration. In Christ we find new life. That means, as believers in the Lord Jesus, what was Adam’s in the garden is ours in Christ. We have been restored to an Edenic relationship with God. Positionally, we are right with the Father; physically, though, we are alive in this body and on this earth that is cursed by the Fall. We are, like Paul, in a battle between what is temporal and what is eternal. We are restored to the garden, yet must do the due diligence of cultivating the garden. And it’s hard work!
While grace is not by works, grace indeed works. Grace works not at earning more grace but at growing in relationship to the Grace Giver. Grace energizes we followers of Jesus to strive towards the garden’s “rest” and life’s “abundance” and faith’s growing transformation.
Here’s a better question: How are you cultivating everyday Eden?
Here’s a gardening help: Join us on our little 2SIXSIX endeavor beginning September 1 as we employ 6 intentional postures for 6 months, and in so doing will cultivate (strive; make every effort to supplement) everyday Eden.