Sunday 16 June 2024

Gardens (III) The Memory of Trees

In our first foray into the Garden, gentle Beaker Folk, we considered that there was a garden with two trees. And one was of life, and one was of knowledge. And God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve. And this Edenic state of affairs came to an end when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge and there was no going back.

But the memory of trees (© Enya) remained. The Buddha meditated under the Bodhi tree. The Canaanites (and the Israelites, when nobody was looking) worshipped around the Asherah poles. The Norse and Germans in their turn, had the Ash tree Yggdrasil, the World tree.

And the Israelites knew that trees could regenerate given the right condition. Isaiah told us, "There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots."

And in time, a branch grew from Jesse. And alongside, another tree grew. It was cut down for the use of the Roman Empire, and on it was nailed the son of Adam and Eve who was also the son of God.

On that tree, the son of God promised he'd meet a condemned rebel in a garden shortly - "today you will be with me in Paradise". And that tree of death became a tree of life. The curse in Eden was reversed by that obedience in Gethsemane, by that tree on a hill, and resurrection in the Garden of Life.

And that paradise - a walled garden - turns out to be a Garden City. I don't know if the founders of Welwyn or Letchworth Garden Cities thought they were trying to build the New Jerusalem, but it was a noble aim.

This walled garden has gates. But they are never shut. So you can go in whenever you want. And you can check out any time you want - but you'll never want to leave.

And here is the Tree of Life again. This time with bonus fruit and healing leaves.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from

the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Rev 22:1-5)
Let's face it, if the water is a clear as crystal, this is going to be heaven for all except the owners of water companies. 

And everything is new again. The creation is in the state of peace which Paul tells us in Romans it is currently groaning for. We are in the Eden we have dreamed of - the Eden which our earliest myths told us about, the imaginary garden we always wanted to return to. And all manner of things will be well, when we have the Lamb for our sun and God for our king, and will be finally at home.


Drop a thoughtful pebble in the comments bowl