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A New Season
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"A New Season"

"Relationship" (Relational Love: part 7)

          At the dawn of creation when Adam was "exiled" from the garden because of sin he forfeited both the gift of intimate communion with God and the gift of this sacred space called "home": "The LORD God therefore banished him from the garden of Eden...when he expelled the man, he settled him east of the garden" (Gen. 3:23,24). These two are related--God and the garden. Humanity was meant neither to live apart from God , nor to live outside of the garden; neither are we meant to live "outside" of our hearts! Truly, home is where the heart is. Jesus the "new Adam" appeared resurrected in a garden after having conquered sin on the cross. He brought us "home": "I have come to my garden" (Songs 5:1).

          Death began in a garden and new life began in a garden. In the garden after the sin of Adam, God sought after fallen humanity, "Where are you?" (Gen. 3:9). In the new creation it is reconciled humanity--represented by Mary Magdalene--who goes in search of God: "I will seek him whom my heart loves" (Songs 3:2). Both of these 'searches' take place in a garden. Ever since the fall of Adam, the "garden" has become a place of seeking, of loss and discovery. For three days Mary Magdalene sought the "new Adam" in the "tomb" of her grieving and broken heart: "When can I go and see the face of God?" (Psalm 42:3). On the third day she found him in the "Temple" of his resurrected Body in a garden. The deeper the love--the more intense the relationship--the greater the sense of loss felt by the heart--the greater the heart-felt joy upon rediscovering the One whom I thought I had lost forever.

          We are told that at first Mary mistook Jesus for the gardener:  "She thought it was the gardener" (John 20:15). Yet, is this not part of the truth? He is both the "gardener" of my "garden heart", and simultaneously the grain of wheat that has fallen to the ground and died so that we could have new hearts and hopes. The "new Adam" makes my heart  "rich soil" into which the seed of his word can be sown and bear fruit one hundred fold. He is the "landscape architect" of my interior life. He who is the "vine" is also the caretaker of the "new vineyard" that he has planted in my interior garden. Jesus, the "new Adam", has claimed the "garden-scape" of my heart as a place where the fruits of the new creation can be experienced through a life-changing encounter with him: "I have seen the Lord!" (John 20:18). 

           

Questions:

1)   What further transformation needs to occur within me in order for my heart to become more "rich soil"?

2)   Can I recall a personal experience of heart-felt "loss and discovery" of the Lord in my life?

Scriptures:

Any scripture from the text; Psalm 126:1-6; Songs 3:1-4; Mal. 3:1

"TWO-ZERO-ONE-EIGHT, TIME TO EXPIATE"

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