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Sharing your Project with the World

By Paul Wetzig, Synod Project Officer

Do you like watching renovation rescue shows or shows about home makeovers? I’ve watched a few episodes in my time and discovered that the last thing that usually gets done on such a show, creating the most tension, is the garden. There are always people running around like ants, laying grass, potting flowers, sweeping paths, and putting finishing touches to outdoor furniture, as the unsuspecting residents are driven back along their street to their new home.

A makeover is never complete until the garden is done because the garden invites everyone else in the neighbourhood to see that something new and different has happened here and how things have changed! Often, on the show, while the neighbours get to watch the project happen, in the end, they’re invited over to experience the restoration project for themselves, to explore with the homeowners the incredible gift that they’ve been given, and to celebrate with them.

God’s work began in a garden where things were “very good”. A garden where beauty abounded & the relationship between humanity and God was deeply personal as they cared for this garden together. As we know, this paradise was lost, and God’s great restoration project began—a project to restore the flourishing of all creation and particularly God’s relationship with humanity.

In John 20:1-18 we meet a character who shouldn’t surprise us: a gardener. The one to announce to the world that the next stage of the restoration project is complete and to reveal to humanity what it looks like – that love for God made real in being given for others is so strong that it can transform death into a new way of being in the world and create eternal hope. In flesh he’d also been a carpenter, and would have known a few furniture restoration techniques.

What joy this must have brought Mary. All she had believed in and the new way she’d chosen to live while she travelled with Jesus; all she thought she had lost was restored and brought to a glorious new life! As Mary heard Jesus call her by name, she heard the greatest news that she could imagine – God can truly restore all things, even that which is dead!

What joy she must have known as she undertook the task given to her by Jesus to share that very good news with her best friends, to help them understand that this restoration project that had begun in a garden, so long ago, had resulted in miraculous new life.

This Easter Sunday, we are given time and space to reflect on our experience of the new life we’ve discovered in knowing and living Jesus’ way. We’re invited to remember the power of love that has transformed our lives and consider how we can share the joy this brings us as we experience being known by God and called, by name, part of God’s family.

What ways can you take the bold step to share your joy at being part of this restoration project with others that they too might discover the transformative power of love?

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