Christianity 201

December 26, 2015

Geōrgos: The Gardener

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:31 pm
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This is an excerpt from one of the hundred entries in 100 Names of God Daily Devotions (Fall, 2015; Rose Publishing) by Christopher D. Hudson; a padded, full-color, hardcover book which features not only many interesting devotional readings, but also an index giving the Greek or Hebrew terms along with their Strong’s concordance number.

100 Names of God Daily Devotional - Christopher D HudsonGeōrgos: The Gardener

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. – John 15:1 NIV

“Gardener” is not a title we typically use to refer to God (even though there is a lot of agricultural imagery in the Bible).  But that’s how the Scriptures portray Him, and that’s what Jesus called him.  And with good reason.

Human history began in a garden (Genesis 1 – 3).  It’s there in a lush place called Eden that God met with His human creatures and instructed them to cultivate and care for His creation.

When sin entered the world, God’s garden was ruined and access to Eden was lost.  What did God do?  He instituted an epic plan to restore His garden paradise.  Throughout the events described in the rest of the Bible, God farmed.  He carefully and patiently grew a nation, in much the same way one would grow crops.  God, in a sense, sowed seed.  He planted and watered.  He mended and tended.  He replanted and transplanted.  He pruned and fertilized.  He drove away ‘pests.’  He uprooted and shored up.

When God sent His Son into the world to defeat Satan, sin and death, it’s in a garden – Gethsemane – that Jesus overcame the evil one.  And it’s from a garden tomb that Jesus emerged victorious over death.

In the final three chapters of the Bible, we read about a new creation – new heavens and a new earth.  It is a place that restores the perfection once found in the Garden of Eden.

Meanwhile, in a world still feeling the effects of sin, the divine Gardener works.  By His grace, and through our faith, He grafts us into Christ, the true fine, the source of life.  We’re just branches.  But as we stay firmly attached to Him, we grow and bear life-giving fruit.  At times God props us up or trims us back so that we’ll be even more fruitful.

Our job is not to worry about dirt or fertilizer, or where other plants are located, or what fruit they’re producing.  Our job is simply to respond to the Gardener’s care – and grow!

Lord, I surrender my life to You. Plant me where you want. Make me beautiful and fruitful in your garden. Amen.

Related readings: Psalm 1, Luke 8: 5-15

 

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