Friday 22 August, 2014
John 19:41 – 20:18THE CIRCLE OF LIFE
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.(vs 1)
I like the seasonal aspects of gardening because they connect me to the basic rhythms of life, and because there is beauty and grace even when nothing appears to be growing. There is always something happening even in the darkest days of winter.
Something happens as Jesus is buried in what is called the garden tomb. A cycle, or circle, is being completed. What appears lifeless and barren and dead is just that – mere appearance. Jesus, the new Adam, as Paul calls him, achieves new life for the human race through his death and his resurrection. The fall takes place in – and its consequences are redeemed in – a garden. The transformed and transfigured Jesus makes his first appearance in a garden.
We can only imagine how Mary Magdalene had passed her Sabbath, longing to be near Jesus, to tend to him in death, wondering what it had all been for. We are privileged in knowing, before she does, the end of the story and the joy that she will experience when she recognises him as he speaks to her.
Our hearts have seasons as well, when all seems hopeless and barren. God is still at work, however, and we can be sure that nothing is outside the compass of his compassion and companionship. Can we use the blessing of this knowledge when our own lives are full of pain and doubt?
Prayer † Lord, I do have faith. Help me to grow that faith even more. Amen.
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) is a fellowship of 75 million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries. Its member churches are Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches with roots in the 16th-century Reformation led by John Calvin, John Knox and others. WARC has a small secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.