Today’s blog is planted in the Jewish high holy days, with the Feast of Tabernacles beginning next week. The Feast of Tabernacles, also called Feast of Booths or Feast of Ingathering, is the third of three yearly festivals or appointments with the Lord, the one celebrated with the most joy! And why not? ALL the harvests were in, from spring grains to fall fruits, whew!
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and [date] honey Deuteronomy 8:7-8 NIV
What better way to honor the beauty, intrigue, and genius of these set-apart-ceremonies and their botanical connections than to respond in verse—garden poetry, that is! …in the Garden in Delight tradition of assembling plants from God’s Word in alphabetical praise.
See all the letters of this slowly growing book at A-to-Z Primer of Plants from God’s Word
Move the cursor over the poetry text to reveal links to Scripture.
Let’s celebrate Y
with mYrtle, the leafY trees
whose branches renown,
add festive fragrance
and evergreen flirt
to Feast of Tabernacles traditions.
Praise proclaimed in concert:
Hosanna, Save I Pray!
Boughs in hand, festal processions.
Lord, Grant us Success!
the holiday’s holy expression.
For this appointed time of Year
to ingather the harvest
of holy land fruits,
God pours out the largest
measure of joY—
complete and fulfilled.
His constant reminder
that success is His Will.
His joY forms our strength—
God’s pleasure, His delight
enthuses His people
with courage and might.
The fervor to carry on,
to finish the work
from temporarY to eternal:
Now rest in shelters; lurk
where harm will not find you,
under the cover of the LORD.
He is the Righteous Branch;
spend the week in His reward.
But back to mYrtle trees,
offering sweet refreshment
in scented leaves, precious flowers:
the first antidepressants!
Bright, white, daintY blooms
with golden-tipped anthers
spray delicate and dazzling;
then small, black fruits gathered
for wine, spice, and perfume
the berries are used.
Still, most famous are roYal
wedding bouquets infused
with mYrtle sprigs, lasting fresh
a queenly tradition became;
though no Word commands it,
perhaps prompted by Esther’s name?
The quiet, praYerful, queen beauty
who loved her man, respected his rule.
Her name synonymous with mYrtle tree:
Husbands, rejoice in the wife of your Youth!
The LORD’s love is a banner
of sweet aroma, everlasting.
May righteousness and peace kiss each other
in marriage union, joY surpassing.
The herald of mYrtle, then:
sweet loveliness, strong success;
abandon strife and embrace God’s
prosperitY and pleasantness.
Against a backdrop of mYrtle trees
Zechariah received presage:
“I am jealous; I will return with mercY,”
was God’s angel-delivered message.
Another sign, flashed to Isaiah
included the mYrtle tree:
Israel will be strengthened,
upheld in success, wait and see!
Plant mYrtle in your garden;
find a sunny, well-drained spot.
And if your Zone is chilly,
keep the tree in a pot.
MYrtle forms well
to topiarY shears.
Bring branches in regularly
for garden-to-table cheer.
Above all, at the LORD’s table:
Love each other deeplY,
celebrate with great joY
rejoice in Him completelY.
That joy is mine, and it is now complete.
John 3:29 NIV
For more devotions on myrtle, see the Propagating series, Garden Work section, in God’s Word for Gardener’s Bible, pages a-30 & a-31. For more on the Feast of Tabernacles, see Celebrating the Harvest, pages a-36 & a-37.
© 2010 Kavram | Dreamstime.com – The Branches Of The Myrtle for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot
© 2015 Shelley S. Cramm Dwarf myrtle flowers from the lush hedges at Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
© 2015 Shelley S. Cramm (taken by a helpful GWA member) standing among (dwarf) myrtle trees at L.A. Arboretum (unknowingly acting out Zechariah 1:8 & 1:11!! Bible humor strikes again!)