Would you dare to be one of the 800,000 or more who visits the beautiful Alnwick Gardens in Northumberland every year and visits its unusual poison garden? Hmmm. I have to think about that. Those who tend the garden protect themselves with masks, gloves, and hazmat suits.
There are only about one hundred varieties of plants but all of them are poisonous in one way or another. To enter, you have to promise not to touch, smell or taste any of the plants. (They wouldn’t get any argument from me!)
The odd thing is that some of those plants are actually in our own gardens. Think of Autumn crocus, which if eaten, causes burning of the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea, liver and kidney problems, blood disorders, nerve problems, shock, organ failure, and death.
Every part of Azaleas, buttercups, and black walnut is poisonous! And yet we plant them, live cheek to jowl with them, and even admire them.
Perhaps it’s a little bit like sin. We grow it in our lives, tinker with it, play around its edges and yet are surprised with it overtakes and poisons our life.
Here is the antidote!
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21, NIV)