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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Once Upon a Garden: Day 1

Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. However many years 
a man may live, let him enjoy them all.
Ecclesiastes 11:7

What is it about the summer?

We can look on the calendar and, with some accuracy, predict when it will arrive; but, until it is actually here, we forgot how special summertime is.

For nine months, the “summer section” of our closet is hardly worth a glance. Then sometime around the first part of June, white slacks, strappy sandals and pretty dresses are reborn.

Our food preferences undergo a change from the old standards-- meat and potatoes or chicken-something (as it is referred to in our home), to seasonal vegetables and fruits, and just a big salad for dinner. Try that in November.

We forget how good the hot summer sun feels on our skin and how wonderful it is to sleep through a summer thunderstorm.

This week, with summer as our backdrop, we will take a journey back to a time of eternal summer in the most perfect place that has ever existed on this earth: the Garden of Eden. From two little chapters in Genesis, we can gain so many insights about life as God created it to be.

There is something else about Eden. It is the best idea we have of what heaven will be like: If you haven’t done so already, jettison the harp-playing-cherubs-sitting-on-puffy-clouds version of eternity. In heaven we will experience a meaningful life, a world free of sin and death and joyous fellowship with God and each other.

And for you who suffer through the summer heat in anticipation of autumn leaves and a brisk winter walk, let me say that, I, too, am a lover of seasons. However, there is something about a blooming, fruiting garden and mandatory nudity that tends to make me go with summertime as the setting for Eden’s story.

So, who’s to say—not me, for sure-- that there won’t be snowball fights in heaven?

Nancy Shirah

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