Perhaps my favorite hymn of Holy Week is this old standard, “In the Garden”. I don’t remember the context, but remember hearing it with my grandmother once and being drawn in by the imagery and feeling as a little boy.
Later I learned it is about Easter — that moment in the Gospel of John in which Mary Magdalene is bereft at seeing Jesus’ body gone, thinking she could not even say farewell to this dear man who had done so much to help her find life. Then, she turns to see whom she mistakes to be a humble gardener. He speaks her name, her true name, and she knows Jesus lives.
It also paints a picture of how Jesus continues to live, moving through the garden of our life, welcoming us to daily walk and talk with him as our Living Savior and Friend. This is truly meaningful to me as my daily prayer practice is to meditate and pray as I hike and walk in the woods behind my home.
I hope hearing this song today invites you to experience the joy of the resurrection in new ways.
Your progressive redneck preacher,