The Gardener of the Resurrection

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Reflections, Pause

[The artwork is Christ Appears to Mary Magdalene as a Gardener, unknown artist, c. 1500]

We come to the garden in the morning light.
There is a glow of new life. 
There are butterflies flitting around an empty cross. 
They symbolize the journey from death to life,
and the many inner journeys of a life time —
when we discover that the difficult places we find ourselves 
are not the end of the story. 

There is light here, 
Light within all light. 
And so, this Easter in the garden, 
we yearn for fresh shinings in our our soul
as we seek Living Presence in the heart the ordinary. 

There are beating hearts in this garden of life, 
the beating heart of Mary — 
Easter begins in sorrow and confusion for her, 
as it does for us really, 
there is still war in Ukraine, there is such suffering in Gaza, 
there is still hunger in the bellies of young children, 
there is still everything there was yesterday and the day before,
The beating heart of humanity.

There are beating hearts in this garden of life, 
the beating heart of humanity.
The beating heart of a gardener. 
Well, she thought he was the gardener 
and it is a beautiful mistake, 
for indeed, 
this is a new creation, 
he is the first fruit of a new creation, 

and he is the gardener
cultivating resurrection life for all who come here. 

He is the gardener 
planting seeds of hope, 
for all those times when we need hope,
using his holy shovel to loosen the earth over there,
so we can take a deeper breath today. 

He is the gardener, pruning sometimes, 
it’s hard to understand we sometimes need to lose our life 
in order to find it.

Somewhere in the garden, there is a compost pile 
with all that we manage to let go, 
that fear doesn’t need to rule us,
that habit doesn’t need command us. 

And like Mary, we won’t always recognize him, 
in the garden of our lives, and in the life of the world.
And yet, we must keep looking. 
Looking always, for the gardener of the resurrection 
Our heart is his garden 
and new life is truly promised.  

This Easter reflection is drawn from the Easter season Retreat Guide, “Beating Hearts.” It is available here: Easter Season Retreat: Beating Hearts. It was published in 2023.

Written by Janice MacLean

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