“Plant a Pot of Bible” is a series of devotions that go along with planting some of the herbs, spices, and edibles scattered across the pages of the Bible in our own garden pot.
By the end of the series, we hope for a deeper understanding of who God is and what He has done…along with a beautiful and tastily planted container for early spring’s patio or lingering winter’s sunny window.
Coming to you on one of the greatest days commemorating God’s Word in the garden! The celebration of St. Patrick, his God-devoted life, and his infamous teaching of God’s 3-in-1 nature with the three-lobed shamrock leaf aligns uncannily with the next plants for our “Pot O’Bible.” Jesus illustrated with a trio as well: mint, dill, and cumin to instruct in God’s justice, mercy, and faithfulness.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
Matthew 23:23 NIV
These are God’s “absolute basics,” as The Message translates, beautifully displayed in the life story of St. Patrick. They prevail in our lives as well, as we love the Lord our God, just as St. Patrick did. Let us praise the One adored through the ages for
Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.
Leviticus 19:15 NIV
I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
Psalm 101:1 NIV
And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Exodus 33:19 NIV
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Psalm 51:1 NIV
full of faithfulness
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Psalm 86:15 NIV
The Lord’s Prevailing
In response to this stunning display of God’s character, no superficial, flavor-no-substance, outer-adornment-only will do. This trio of herbs represented tokens to the Lord, not the heartfelt expression of His essence that prevails in a God-loving life. To a tithe or offering not tied to genuine devotion, God says, don’t bother.
Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you.
Psalm 51:16 The Message
May this herb and spice trio planted in our “Pot O’Bible” remind us of the Lord’s prevailing “fairness, compassion, and commitment” as we approach Palm Sunday and Easter week.
Plant a Pot O’ Bible
To our cumin seeds sown next to nigella, add dill at the “2 o’clock” position, and mint at the “4 o’clock” position.
Now the mint and the hyssop will “fill” out the middle of the pot, their leaves similarly shaped and both perennials to zone 6 or 5 (varied reports).
I selected ‘Berries and Cream‘ mint for its purple-tinged stems to echo the color of ‘ruby streaks’ mustard and continue to add a bit of contrast to the “thrill” plants, nigella, cumin, and dill.
I confess a little wildness to the pot’s look, as I took a spring break trip this week…if the “Pot O’Bible” is looking untended, you are right! I will return to mercy and faithfulness in taking care of it this week!
Also, I have not been faithful to water the cumin seeds! They have not sprouted for me, so I will try again.
How can I stand up before God and show proper respect to the high God? Should I bring an armload of offerings topped off with yearling calves? Would God be impressed with thousands of rams, with buckets and barrels of olive oil? Would he be moved if I sacrificed my firstborn child, my precious baby, to cancel my sin? But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously— take God seriously.
Micah 6:6-8 The Message
Read more on dill, mint, and cumin in “A Gardener’s Clue,” a devotion on Matthew 23:23 from the series Bearing Fruit in God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, page a-35
Dill & mint are easy finds wherever garden herbs are sold, and likely in your supermarket, too, if the produce section carries staple herbs for planting.
For growing cumin (unpaid endorsements):
Readers, please share any additional sources you recommend in the comments section. Thank you!
© Heikerau | Dreamstime.com – Cumin Photo. A mass of cumin flowers
©2016 Shelley S. Cramm all other photos