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Communion Meditations (2014)

Three Gardens

Originally scheduled for March 23

It appears that the Almighty is rather fond of gardens.

The story of man in Genesis begins in a garden – the Garden of Eden.  The phrase is still used to describe a paradise on earth;  indeed, it was intended to be the home of sinless man.  It was the place where man and God talked face to face, without shame.  But as the prophet Ezekiel tells us, Satan was in that garden too (Ezekiel 28:13) – in splendor at first, but then in shame.  It is strange that we use the phrase to mean a paradise.  Gardens are known by what they grow; this one grew sin and failure.

The next garden (there are several others mentioned in the Scripture) we might consider is the one named Gethsemane.  Eden was a garden of delight; Gethsemane, a garden of anguish.  Here the savior went to pray on the night of his betrayal.  Like Eden, it was the site of man’s failure – the closest friends Christ had on earth could not keep their eyes from closing in sleep .  But it is recorded that Christ triumphed; “not my will but yours be done.”  Gardens are known by what they grow; this one grew courage.

The Gospel of John tells us (John 19:41) that there was a garden at the place where Jesus was crucified; likely enough, Jesus could have seen it from the cross.  In that garden,  John tells us, there was a new tomb – the one in which Joseph of Arimathea laid the body of Christ.  At communion we remember the death of Christ.  In the bread we see his body; in the cup we see his blood.  From that tomb Christ arose, and the history of the world was forever changed.  Gardens are known by what they grow; this one grew the church. 

Gardens must be tended.  Adam was appointed this task in Eden.  One of the things Christ asked us to do until he returns is to remember his sacrifice.  This is one way in which the garden of the church is tended;  it is given to us to do this.  So one might ask:  what is the garden of your life growing?  Gardens are known by what they grow.

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