Morning by Morning

"The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward." Isaiah 50:4-5

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Walled Garden

One of the gifts on our Anglican tradition is an appreciation of the beauty of God’s creation.  We pray for Joy in God's Creation:

O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works; that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve thee with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We believe that God’s creation is good and that He intended that we enjoy the wonderful things that He has made.  On the Seventh Day of Creation, “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).  At the center was the Garden of Eden traditionally understood as a walled garden.  The word “Paradise” actually refers to a “walled garden.”  It is a place of the generous grace and goodness of God, a place where he seeks to walk with us in the cool of the evening.  History and experience testify that we have lost the way to that earthly garden, but art and the pursuit of beauty tell us that we long for it still.  Written in the aspirations of our hearts is an eternal longing for Paradise; a longing that acknowledges both the sense of paradise lost and the hope of paradise regained. 

Every lovely garden is an echo of the walled garden which is Paradise, and with yearning and faith we reach out to that walled garden, which is not only in the past, but also future.  The very purpose of the Incarnation teaches us that God became flesh in Christ Jesus, to dwell with us, to suffer; we must not forget that Gethsemane is a garden.  In his incarnation he came to die, to be buried, to rise again from the dead, and in that rising to take us with him to the true garden, Paradise, eternal in the heavens.

We live lives of longing and that longing in in itself is a declaration that there is a reality beyond this present realm.  Our hope is a Resurrection hope.. We actually believe that we will walk in the flesh in that walled garden, and we pray with faith and joy;

O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Saviour Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen. (BCP, p. 226)

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