April 28, 2006

My Journey to God

They’re Plowing the Garden

“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?’
She thought it was the gardener ….” (Jn 20:15)

“They’re plowing the garden!”

Mom’s comment at breakfast echoed one of the first signs of Spring on the farm in northern Indiana where I grew up.

The sound of a tractor plowing the garden meant we had survived another winter and things would be better now. Soon the orchard would be alive with the scent of apple blossoms and their fruit would burst forth and be ours for the taking. Mulberries on the tree would be a precursor of blackberries on the vine, and spring rains would cause the mushrooms to sprout.

In Scripture, the image of a garden symbolizes an intimate relationship with God. The story of our relationship with God begins and ends in a garden! It begins in the Book of Genesis with the story of creation. We are given a beautiful image of our God, who “comes down” and walks in the garden with Adam. It reveals to us the intimate relationship God has with his creation, and it is a precursor to God “coming down” in human form to be one with us.

So, it isn’t surprising to see Jesus spend his last night talking with his Father in a garden. And it is fitting too that Mary Magdalene first encounters the Risen Lord in a garden.

“They’re plowing the garden!”

It was the sound of soil being turned and seeds being planted. It was the sound of hope being renewed and life beginning again. Every time we witness new life and every time we observe a new season, we see God in his garden. It reminds us that we too have been planted and are growing from death to life again.

Like that first morning, like that first Easter, God walks in the garden with us and sows the seeds of surprise—the seeds of new life!

Happy Easter!

By Jim Welter

(Jim Welter is a member of St. Barnabas Parish in Indianapolis. This reflection was originally written for the St. Monica Parish e-mail Scripture ministry, which sends a similar reflection and the daily readings to more than 6,200 subscribers all over the world each business day. To subscribe to this ministry, log on to www.StMonicaParishIndy.org. Jim Welter is the author of a book of Scripture reflections titled When Winter Comes, which is available at www.AscendingView.com.)


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