It Begins in the Garden
an Easter #sermon sunrise meditation
Have you ever noticed that two of the most important moments of the Bible happen in a garden?
In the Book of Genesis, we discover the story of the first humans living in right relationship with their Creator in a garden, a garden which supplies all of their needs – only to have that balanced, just, abundant life shattered and broken when we humans mess everything up.
And then in the Gospel of John, the one God sent who came to heal the brokenness of our lives, to teach another way, and to offer abundance here and now, was arrested who we call Jesus was convicted in a sham trial, tortured, and crucified on a cross. He is laid to rest in a tomb in a garden nearby. His death too seemed to be another instance of we humans messing up something good that God gives us.
On this Easter morning, we are deeply aware of how we can mess things up.
We see in COVID-19 a virus that harms us physically but also exposes the continued brokenness and fragility of our society. We bear witness to the deep veins of racism and inequality in our healthcare and economic systems that especially put our black neighbors at risk. We have learned that some people are worthy of getting tests and resources first while the rest of us have to wait at the back of the line. We have been unable to look away when insults and slurs and violence have been inflicted upon immigrants and people whose grandparents are from another part of God’s planet.
And we have marveled at how the Earth has gasped for a desperate breath when we stop for just a minute – stop driving in circles, stop producing more and more, stop and wait and be silent. Did we realize how our busy-ness poisons the air and harms our precious Creation?
What will it take to break these cycles?
The good news of this Easter morning and the story of both gardens is that they do not end in defeat and loss. Though the first humans must leave the garden, God goes with them and continues to covenant with them to bring wholeness to this blessed Creation.
Though Jesus is crucified, on Easter morning, the garden teems with life as the angel proclaims, He is not here – he has risen!
These are the stories of God – God reaches out again and again to repair that broken relationship and gather us into a new way of living together.
Today, on this beautiful Easter, as the sun rises over our lives, know that God invites you to receive that gift.
We are able to write a new story for our lives, for our society, and for our world.
May we walk with God and write it together.
Christ has risen. He has risen indeed!