Perhaps you've been perusing seed catalogs for months — or at least dreaming of green grass, budding leaves and bursts of flowering color. Especially if you live in an area that experienced a tough winter, you're ready for the gardens of the earth to come alive.
This month we will hear the Gospel stories that invite us to journey with Jesus from his suffering and death to his resurrection and first appearance. And on that journey, gardens have a prominent place. After their last supper, Jesus took some friends and went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He was betrayed and arrested there. His friends took his body from the cross and laid it in a tomb in another garden, and it was there, early on Easter morning, that women came bearing spices for the body. In that garden Jesus — quite alive — spoke to a weeping, grieving Mary.
Just north of Servants of Christ Lutheran Church, Indianapolis, is a natural garden space. For nearly as long as the church has stood on this spot, members recognized it as sacred space. For them it was always a quiet spot away from the road, removed from the hustle and bustle of life. They used it as a place to pray. "The hand of God is here," said Bill Bushlack, one of many who worked to transform the space.
|Members of Servants of Christ Lutheran, Indianapolis, are reminded of Easter all year when they walk through their church's prayer garden. The garden also includes a pool where David (above) and Emily Lavry were baptized.|
The unusual feature of Servants of Christ's prayer garden is the 14 Stations of the Resurrection on the walking path, along with the traditional 14 Stations of the Cross. Two engraved tiles, one for a station of the cross and one for a station of the resurrection, sit framed side-by-side on wooden stands, each marked with the Scripture verse from which its images are drawn. Those who come to meditate can focus on one or both scriptural images. Repeated visits lend themselves to discovering new meanings in images and Scripture seen many times before.
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© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers