“Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’ ‘They have taken my Lord away,’ she said, ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’ At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, ‘Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’ Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’” (John 20:11-15)
New creation has begun! The moment Jesus rose from the grave, defeating death, he launched this new world. His Kingdom is one that is here, active among us, but is not fully built. It is a Kingdom that is also coming. And the beautiful thing is that we have a part to play. God wants us to help him build his Kingdom of light.
When Mary saw Jesus after his resurrection, he looked a lot like a gardener. And I like that part of the story because even though I don’t have much of a green thumb, I do know that gardeners tend to the earth with great care and concern. Cultivating, restoring, nourishing. These are the things of God.
And we are with Mary, in the garden, meeting our Lord, the Good Gardener who makes all things new, as he invites us into the Easter task — make the world a garden again!
How do we do this? By sowing the things God — faith, hope, and love. By being people of light and not darkness. By worshipping at the feet of the risen Christ because it is there that I find the most beautiful love, the arms of forgiveness, the way of acceptance. It is there I discover the truth of my identity — I am a beloved child of God.
On the cross Christ showed us the clearest revelation of who God is — perfect love. He showed us the kind of people he wants us to be. Every time I choose love over hatred, forgiveness over violence, when I look to Christ instead of my own selfish desires for how I should live…the devil is driven out of business.
Let’s bring this beauty into our homes, our neighbourhoods, our workplaces, remembering that none of it is for waste. No act of love, however small, will be tossed aside. Somehow it will be planted and used and our job is to trust this slow work of God. Every good thing we do in Christ will be part of the new world he is making and will one day complete.
Today we celebrate! Our mourning has turned into dancing because Christ now fills all things, everywhere, with Himself. He is alive, he is with us, and his love — that indescribable love he showed on the cross — is ours to delight in and share with the world.
Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.