In the Garden of Eden

Arches Garden of Eden 513In the opening chapters of the Book of Genesis we find the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden.  One can only imagine what a beautiful place this was.  In the closing chapters of the Book of Revelation we are given a glimpse into what is to come.  The place where God reigns is indescribable but in some ways it is similar to the original Garden of Eden.  The tree of life is there and a river as well.  I’ve wondered at times if the author of Revelation wanted us to see heaven as Eden restored.

 The Bible reveals that the sin that entered the world in the Garden of Eden had ill effects on God’s Creation.  Paul tells us in Romans 8 that Creation “groans” and eagerly awaits redemption.  Maybe Paul, too, envisioned a new Eden to come.

 Twice this week I have photographed last light in Arches National Park at a placed they call “The Garden of Eden.”  The picture above was taken last night and the one below on Sunday evening.  It is a beautiful location and worthy of its name.  Standing there as the warm light of the setting sun strikes the red rock formations I experienced a remarkable sense of peace and joy.  Maybe it’s the same peace and joy Adam and Eve felt in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the picture.  Or perhaps it is a foretaste of the peace and joy that will be ours when the new heaven and the new earth arrive.   Either way, it is a feeling I can give thanks for in the here and now.

 On the trip I am on I have already visited four different national parks.  In each park I have encountered a pristine beauty that delights my soul.  In each I have felt a closeness to God.  Since the original Garden was a place of communion for the first humans and God, I find myself thinking that the Garden of Eden might still exist.  It exists wherever we encounter God in His glorious Creation.

ANP Garden of the Gods 868


(This entry was written yesterday but due to a problem with the internet in Bryce Canyon I was not able to post it until today.)