Cardinal vine and rock

Jesus is the reason

Gardeners usually have a reason for the things they do. The laws of nature and of nature’s God leave little room for error. If the recipe for marinated Brussels sprouts inspired me to go out and plant them right now, I would be setting myself up for failure.

The irises are interplanted with the daylilies so that the varieties don’t grow together, and to extend the bloom time of the bed.

The cardinal vine was allowed to grow near the rocks, so that the star shaped red blooms of the fernlike Ipomoea plant could cover them.

Marigolds are planted by squash for two reasons. First, they look pretty. Second, they repel squash bugs. Yes, I know that first reason seems rather lame; but it works for me, and it’s true. My father had his own logic about flowers. He couldn’t eat them so he didn’t grow them.

There is a rhyme and reason for most of what a gardener does, since plants grow and the garden changes. Okay, you got me. There is no rhyme, unless you want me to put together a very bad poem. But there are solid reasons for doing things in a certain way, and at a specific time. Even a garden with only flowers is an art form that takes a lot of thought and planning. Reasoning is key.

“Christ’s Mass” may have been the phrase used when a pagan celebration became what is known as a “Christian holiday.” It became the word “Christmas.” As our world became less and less apt to give even a passing mention to the Son of God who came to earth to die for us, we now refer to it as “the holidays,” which can include a host of historical and newly-made special days.

Many Christians, and even more who are Christians only when it suits them, are proclaiming Jesus as “the reason for the season.” Well, for one thing, whoever came up with that can certainly rhyme better than this gardener. It certainly is a catchy phrase.

If people are thinking of the Father’s gift of his only Son at this time of year, that’s a good thing. If it opens up a dialogue with those who have not been washed in the blood of the Savior, even better!

But is Jesus really the “reason for the season?” In truth, he is “the reason.” Period.

When Paul preached to the Athenians, contrasting their false gods with the one true God, he explained the all-encompassing power and influence he has on his creation.

“So that they would search for God and perhaps grope around for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move about and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring’” (Acts 17: 27–28, NASB).

Jesus is the reason for our existence. “All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be” (John 1:3a).

Jesus is the reason for our purpose on earth. “The last word, when all is heard: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this concerns all humankind” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Jesus is the reason for our salvation. “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Jesus must be our reason for every second of every day. If that hasn’t been the case for you up until now, change it! Joy to the world!

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Christine (Tina) Berglund

Christine lives in middle Tennessee with her husband Gary, a.k.a. "The Yard Boy." They have served churches in eight states where Gary has preached full-time most of their married lives. The children have flown the nest, but they "baby" their plants now, and even get to visit grandchildren once in a while.

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