Anyone who has been around me for awhile will tell you that I love to teach about the Garden of Eden. I know that Genesis 2 is only one chapter out of one book from the entire Bible, but it is the one place in history where we see God’s design for our lives before things got messy.
Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. (Genesis 2:8 NIV)
This time of year, I like to thing about God’s design because things get busy. Calendars get filled with events. People gather together who normally don’t. Presents are purchased, wrapped, given, and unwrapped. (Sometimes they are even returned and exchanged.) Family traditions abound this time of the year. One of our family traditions is to set up and decorate our Christmas tree.
The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9 NIV)
With our family, the tree is covered with ornaments. Some are normal. Many of them, though, are hand made. They remind us of different seasons of our life. Each ornament has a story and the story is tied to a place and a time. Christmas gives us an opportunity to back up a step and look back over our lives. When we do, we start to catch a glimpse of God’s desire for our lives, too. It’s a lot like remembering the story of the first people in the Garden of Eden.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:15, 22 NIV)
So, how about you? Do you have busy schedules and task lists around this time of year? Do you have family traditions that go along with Christmas? Do those traditions help you step back and look at the bigger picture of your life? Do you see God in that picture?