An Unexpected Advent Garden

by Christine Sine

by Christine Sine

I finally got it together – my Advent prayer garden for 2019. I have been struggling with the imagery this year. What plants can I use that arrest my attention in unexpected ways at this season? I would have loved to be able to use a Waratah, Christmas bush and Christmas bells and other symbols of Advent in Australia – not wintery and cold but sunny and hot, but as you can imagine these were not easy to find here in Seattle. So this succulent was my choice – a little different, startling and in some ways unexpected.

I have painted five stones to go in the garden with the words unexpected, vulnerable, protected, loved, welcomed. These are the words that came to me as I thought about the story of Jesus’ birth. He was unexpected to Mary and Joseph. He was vulnerable because in that culture an unwed pregnant woman should have been stoned yet he was also protected not just by God but by his human father and by people like Elizabeth who seems to have been Mary’s safe person to go to. And it seems that he was loved by Mary and Joseph and welcomed by the angels, shepherds and wise men.

Advent garden 2019

I have added a couple of my favorite Advent/Christmas images around the garden to give me a stronger sense of the season. As we progress through Advent I suspect my Advent garden will continue to change as I reflect on the different aspects of unexpectedness to the Advent story. Hope you enjoy this.

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4 comments

kstoufer December 5, 2019 - 9:23 am

Christine, Thanks for your wonderful ideas. We did a gratitude garden Thanksgiving weekend with our grown daughter and had a wonderful time with the succulent blessings pouring out of a teapot into a cup with another succulent and painted rocks. It was a blessing to all of us to work on this together.

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Christine Sine December 5, 2019 - 9:30 am

That sounds delightful. If you took a photo I would love to see it.

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Wendy Lewis December 5, 2019 - 8:37 pm

HI Christine, i really love this effort this year. i was just wondering where your Advent garden was. The rocks speak to me of the paths that needed to be traveled to reach the Christ child. The use of a dry climate plant is a wonderful contrast because in the right season/conditions it too will rise and flourish, and that speaks to me of hope.

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Christine Sine December 6, 2019 - 6:01 am

A beautiful response Wendy – thank you for this. I agree the rocks speak to me, too, of the path we travel to the Christ child. My Advent garden sits on my desk where I start my day in scripture reading and contemplation. It is also a wonderful reminder while I am working throughout the day of the season we celebrate and the saviour we wait for.

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