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).
further transformation needs to occur within me in order for my heart to become
more "rich soil"?
I recall a personal experience of heart-felt "loss and discovery" of the Lord
in my life?
Any scripture from the text; Psalm 126:1-6; Songs 3:1-4; Mal.