Helping to illuminate biblical context and background
The desert shall rejoice and blossom as a rose...
Isiah 35: 1
Advent is a time of trembling in which every man is to awaken unto himself.
Alfred Delp (German Theologian, executed 1945)
For half the Christian world now is the season of Advent – the season of anticipation –
four weeks of contemplative, reflective expectation.
We gardeners know all about waiting and expectation.
We ready the soil. We plant the seed. We guard. We watch.
We wait with hope and expectation . We shoo away the pests. ...
when that trembling, lovely green shoot emerges from the dark into the light, we rejoice.
Reflect with me on this. Wisdom bids us now recall, that our God is a Gardener,
Who for us planted the first and greatest garden
and in his Love set us therein.
We somehow became a pest in God’s garden and accordingly,
we were shooed away.
We fell. We wandered. We were scattered far from the garden.
Then, in one of his most sublime acts of creation, God let us learn to garden, and thus
He gave us a true vision of what it means to be made in His image.
God let us know what it is to create, to nurture, to care, to enjoy mastery and dominion,
He allows us this small glimpse of the spirit of the Divine.
In our gardens we find the spiritual nexus between God and man.
In this way is gardening like prayer;
we get right meditative as we work our soil on our knees and, full of hope, plant our seeds.
So in this season of Advent like the time when we watch for the sprouting of our seeds.
Now we see how God wants us, trusts us, expects us to make His Garden again.
We see how God prepared the soil and made it fertile through the words of His prophets.
We see how God planted His most precious seed into that ready soil
We see how it sprang to grow and flourish and spread across the globe,
giving us our chance to remake Eden, not only on our land, but in our lives and souls.
This is the import and the importance of Advent, and our gardens teach us this wisdom as they yearly display God’s love for us all.
Hildgard von Bingen, Doctor, Saint, Abbess, Holy Prophet
and great gardener of the 12th Century saw this clearly,
for she wrote:
We know the Lord God is eternal
for all glory shines from Him
and every creature,
be it the green or the seed,
the flower or the graceful stem,
reflects His glory and shines thereof.
And she wrote:
I am Agapé,
the green, mild touch of life,
who grows the flower
and sets the fruit of all virtue
in the gardens of the hearts of all people.
Peace to all this Advent.