Door to Eden

I grow soft in my dotage. More reformed friends and readers will look askance at my slovenly ways. This year, I’m putting up Christmas decorations. A decade or so ago, I beheld the gluttonous excess which is Christmas, and resolved to withhold my endorsement by putting up nothing but the cards I received. The old puritans were right- it was originally a Roman Catholic feast celebrating the incarnation, a truth barely marked in the early church. Its other critics go further back, pointing out the paganism behind the fur tree and its timing around the solstice. Indeed, indeed. But this year, I’m putting some modest decorations up. I've started with a wreath on the front door, made by some fund-raising ladies at work.

I wonder how much of a garden we create in our homes this time of year. The tree is obvious, but the holly, mistletoe, and vivid colours subconsciously realise our yearning for Eden. Before the Fall, how Adam and Eve most have beheld the gorgeous flora ahead of the Lord God’s evening visitation. It was all spoiled of course; our parents broke the tenancy agreement and rightly received their eviction notice.

My wreath is skilfully made up of leaves, berries and limes. Unlike the Romans and Greeks who wore such items on their heads, mine is nailed to the door. I declare to the world that my heart is in Eden, but my body is in Lancashire. Thanks to Him who wore a painful and deadly wreath of thorns upon His head, my longing for Eden is no mere pipe dream, for:

He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

Revelation 22