Thank you to my friend, Sara R. Ward, for allowing me to reprint her beautiful words here. Be sure to visit her blog at http://www.poetsandsaints.com for more insight and inspiration.
We used to live in the garden.
Eden–where all things grew new
and beautiful and true,
like the One who is Truth and Beauty.
But we believed the lie,
and took that bite.
Kicked out from Eden,
we live in darkness and night,
saying, “Let’s eat and drink for tomorrow we die.”
No. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be,
not pain and sickness and suffering,
and the ugly voices in our heads,
the ones that say we aren’t good enough.
We’re mistake makers,
liars and fakers,
instead of believing we are
who live in the hope of eternity.
People of light,
who shine in the darkness of night.
“We’re Easter people living in a Good Friday world.”
We look back at the garden and wish
that children weren’t abused,
and murderers weren’t excused,
and death didn’t have to be daily news.
When did we stop believing in hope?
When did we start listening to the naysayers,
rather than the Good News proclaimers?
When did we start believing the serpent’s lies,
when he replied, “Did God really say?”
Don’t you understand?
When you believe the serpent,
you lose your way.
When the serpent said perish,
God said life.
When the serpent said dishonor,
God said glory.
When the serpent said weakness,
God said power.
Like seeds planted in the black earth,
growing into something with life,
so Jesus is our firstfruit
and in Him, we are made new.
Glimpses of Eden’s virtues:
raising a dead seed into a plant,
raising a dead Lazarus into a man
raising Jesus to be our lamb–
to die for us and then to rise again,
if there’s no hope of that,
then there’s no hope for us.
What is the point of the Bible if
there is no resurrection?
You want proof?
Then I have questions too:
When God laid the earth’s foundation,
where were you?
Or how about when morning stars sang
and the angels proclaimed,
you weren’t there either, were you?
And yet, don’t you wonder
when you look at the stars,
or hold a baby in your arms,
or see a picture of the earth from afar,
who made all this wonderfulness?
Don’t let the lie
blind you in the fight.
The life of redemption, and beauty, and all that will be made right,
a gift of grace from the Father of lights.
O people of faith
you have to believe in what you can’t see.
That in the dark night,
redemption will come.
That in the funeral dirges,
we will sing songs from the grave.
For we will not all sleep,
but will be changed
in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trumpet’s cry.
This isn’t a fairy tale,
this is the Good News!
Death has been destroyed,
the serpent’s head crushed.
So we proclaim:
O, death, where, is your victory?
O, death, where is your sting?
For he took the sting out of death,
and gave us victory when he died.
The resurrection people
live in the hope of eternity
because we won.
This song from the grave
is our victory chorus, saying:
It is finished.
It is done.
The (empty!) Garden Tomb, Jerusalem