Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Magnificent Honeysuckle Vine

In my opinion, the honeysuckle vine is one of the world's prettiest flowers. This week, this beautiful and relatively unknown flower species opened in the Gethsemane Prayer Garden. As a result, I felt led to share this writing about this most ornate flower, as taken from my book A Garden of Love.


Peace

Outstanding! I am so captivated by this most intricate and lovely vine. Do you see the little two-inch long pink trumpets? I can imagine hearing them boldly declare their warmest greeting, "Enter, for the Lord is in this place, offering peace to you!" As Paul wrote many times in his epistles, "May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace" (Ephesians 1:2).

Honeysuckle Vine

One of the loveliest of the newer plants to be introduced in many years is the ornate trumpet honeysuckle vine, hybridized with other twining honeysuckles to create a flower of immense beauty. Elongated tubes of either rosy-pink or pastel-orange are offset with a soft cream colored throat, more intricate than any glass blower could prepare. The stamen protrudes in an extended form from the trumpet-shaped throat in hopes of luring a passing insect as an open invitation for pollination. The many trumpets seem to be calling out to both the insect and the garden visitor, "Come and enter in, welcome to a special place, a place of new beginnings, a place of satisfaction and peace."

All of the varieties of honeysuckle vines grow tall, often up to twenty or twenty-five feet, as they search for full sun on a strong supporting structure. Some vines are more fragrant than others – the European honeysuckle is considered the sweetest. The hummingbirds with their long needle-like beak seem to particularly enjoy the nectar from all the twining honeysuckles vines, darting from flower to flower, from cluster to cluster.

If the honeysuckle vine is positioned at the entrance to the garden, the trumpet-shaped flowers seem to herald the visitor, "You are about to enter a most special place." In some ways this is reminiscent of the armies of angels at the birth of Jesus, "praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased'" (Luke 2:13, 14). The peace and presence of our Lord is in the garden.

Garden Entrance

Jesus came to earth to give a gift of peace, and his expectation was and is that the gift would be used. "I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid" (John 14:27). Then, only a few days later, that gift was received.

"'Peace be with you,' he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said,'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.' Then he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'" (John 20:19-22).

These verses indicate that the gift of the Holy Spirit is a gift of peace. Many times the Scriptures associate the Holy Spirit with power – the power of supernatural healing, for example. Here, however, the peace that the Holy Spirit brings is peace of mind and heart in oneness with God – this deep fellowship is one that is immersed in love.

"Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you" (2 Corinthians 13:11).


Copyright © 2009 Bible Discernments. Excerpt from A Garden of Love by Thomas B. Clarke, a gift book about love for anyone that enjoys flowers.A Garden of Love is available on Amazon as well as at www.agardenoflove.com.

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End Note: The overall theme for this series of articles is flowers and plants, showing how they point to love. Sometimes I write 'how to' do something, other times the emphasis is a status update, or the article will be about how a plant or flower touched my heart. All of these writings are based on plants from the Gethsemane Prayer Garden in Syracuse, NY. Please consider some of the other blog articles: Index of Articles About the Gethsemane Prayer Garden.