Gardening – Creating a Fit Habitation for God.

by Christine Sine

garden day at the Mustard Seed House

It is time to start thinking about the garden. I know because I am being inundated with catalogues and emails from seed companies.

To be honest until a couple of days ago I was not sure if I wanted to start a garden this year. Last year was a very challenging garden experience for me. It started with the loss of 150 tomato seed starts because of contaminated (supposedly organic) soil. It continued with a feeling of being overwhelmed by both the work and the harvest with too little help and too busy a schedule. It ended with my mind in a whirl wondering where the garden year had gone and why I had not really enjoyed it.

Then I read New Heaven and A New Earth by Richard Middleton who says:

Many recent studies of the garden of Eden in Genesis suggest that this garden, in its relationship to the rest of the earth, functions as an analogue of the holy of holies in the tabernacle or the Jerusalem temple. The garden is the initial core location of God’s presence on earth; this is where God’s presence is first manifest, both in giving instructions to humanity (2:15-17) and in declaring judgement (3:8-19). The garden is thus the link between earth and heaven, at least at the beginning of human history. The implication is that as the human race faithfully tended this garden or cultivated the earth, the garden would spread, until the entire earthly realm was transformed into a fit habitation for humanity. But it would thereby also become a fit habitation for God.

Suddenly my perspective was transformed. How can I not plant a garden I thought? I am not just planting vegetables and flowers, I am creating a fit habitation for humanity and for God.

So one of my new year’s resolutions is to make sure that I get out and enjoy the garden this year. I want to create something that is worthy of the God I love and worship. And I want to relish this habitation that God desires taking time to walk and talk with God in this place.

However I know I cannot do this alone. So I am in the process of creating a garden team to work with me. Do you live in Seattle? Do you love gardening but have nowhere to get your hands in the dirt? Would you like to make fresh garden salads straight out of the garden? If so perhaps you would like to join of the Mustard Seed House garden community and help us create a place that is indeed a fitting habitation for both humanity and God. Please feel free to contact me and see how this could be possible.

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