It’s only a week away and it is time to sign up. March 25th I will conduct my annual Lenten retreat Preparing for the Garden Walk of Holy Week. This one has a little different focus than usual and I am very excited about it.
It is another journey into changed perspectives and the breaking down of walls. This retreat is not about gardening. It is about walking with Jesus through all the seasons of creation as he walks from Palm Sunday to Easter resurrection.
To be reconciled to God we must be reconciled to the whole created world and this we catch a glimpse of in Jesus’ walk through Holy Week. Did you know that Palm Sunday resounds with echoes of Sukkot and the celebration of harvest? Shouts of “Hosanna” sound a prayer for Earth’s productivity that echoes again in the birthing of the Christian liturgy of bread and wine inaugurated on Maundy Thursday at the last supper. From there Jesus moves into the garden of Gethsemane, and onward to Golgotha where the potency of Christ’s life, now released in death, reverberates through the earth itself with shakes, the splitting of rocks and even the revival of the dead who rise in witness. Finally we move to the garden of resurrection where Mary “thinks he is the gardener”, that tiny verse of cosmic importance because Jesus is indeed the gardener of the new creation.
Jesus walk through Holy Week is a walk through creation, and the last few days is a journey from a garden of sorrow, through suffering to a garden of resurrection life. Adam and Eve move from a garden paradise to a garden of suffering. Jesus moves from a garden of suffering to the garden of new creation. Recognizing these strong connections between the life ,suffering and death of Christ, and the beautiful creation God gifted us with has become an essential part of my walk during Lent and Easter.
It is an aspect of the Gospel story at all all of us need to embrace and Lent is a perfect season in which to do so.
I hope you will join me on this journey and draw closer to Christ and creation in the process.