“Yahweh planted a garden in Eden, which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned. From the soil, Yahweh God caused to grow every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
“But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping. Then as she wept she stooped to look inside, and saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head the other at the feet. They said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’
‘They have taken my Lord away?’ She replied, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ As she said this she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not realise it was Jesús.
Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’
Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him,’
Jesus said, ‘Mary!’
The Church the Garden of Christ
We are a Garden wall’d around,
Chosen and made peculiar Ground;
A little Spot inclos’d by Grace
Out of the World’s wide wilderness.
Like trees of Myrrh and Spice we stand,
Planted by God the Father’s Hand;
And all his Springs in Sion flow,
To make the young plantation grow.
Awake, O heavenly Wind and come,
Blow on this garden of Perfume;
Spirit Divine, descend and breathe
A gracious Gale on Plants beneath.
Make our best Spices flow abroad
To entertain our Saviour -God:
And faith, and Love, and Joy appear,
And every Grace be active here.
Let my Beloved come, and taste
His pleasant Fruits at his own Feast.
I come my spouse, I come, he cries,
With Love and Pleasure in his Eyes.
Our Lord into his Garden comes,
Well pleased to smell our poor Perfumes,
And calls us to a Feast divine,
Sweeter than Honey, Milk or Wine.
Eat of the Tree of Life, my Friends,
The Blessings that my Father sends;
Your Taste shall all my Dainties prove,
And drink abundance of my Love.
Jesus we will frequent thy Board,
And sing the Bounties of our Lord:
But the rich food on which we live
Demands more Praise than Tongues can give.
Oh often, so very often, I have struggled with the garden of my soul. Working in my overgrown and tangled profusion of a real garden, I have lamented, many a time on the hard work, patience and endurance it takes to put one small corner in order, only to find another in need of the same attention. To be a Gardener requires discipline and the willingness to work in all weathers… the same rain and sunshine that makes roses flourish… also makes the weeds grow… God bestows his favours on good and bad alike, Jesus says this….
But isn’t it so much harder to keep our souls and hearts in order?
St Paul puts it this way, ‘the good thing I want to do, I never do;the evil thing which I do not want – that is what I do.’
So it is with me, and so it is with all the sons and daughters of Adam. As individuals as the Church – we cannot keep our souls and hearts in order … we need help … that only Yahweh God, our Creator can give – we need Grace.
It was Yahweh God who called Adam by His name, and Mary by her name, and she supposing Him to be the Gardener, turned to see the Resurrection.
However hard our struggle, the Gardener will never leave His Garden unattended, no matter how broken down it’s hedges and walls, despite the brambles and thorns, the Gardener waits to restore and make Church and souls flourish.
Lord, keep us in your jealous love and care, persuade us when we cling obstinately to our sins or feel overwhelmed by the sins of our past to turn as you call our name and see Jesus in the power of the Resurrection.
Scriptures from NJB: Genesis 2. 8-9, John 20. 11-16
The Church is the Garden of Christ: Isaac Watts 1674-1748