The interview was with Vigen Guroian, who writes on the connection between gardening and the Christian faith (specifically, the Eastern Orthodox tradition). In the part of the interview that I heard, he suggested that the events of Easter redeem our senses.
I’ve been dodging rain for two weeks, trying to plant blueberry bushes and apple trees and roses and holly and tomatoes and corn and carrots. And in the last few days, while digging and mowing and pruning, I’ve been wondering how Easter redeems my senses.
I wonder about those disciples who went to the tomb, who saw messengers whose clothes and faces shone like the sun. After seeing such a light, were they somewhat blinded to the rest of the world for a time?
After a camera flash, I see spots. When suddenly turning on a light after I’ve been in the dark (or asleep) I am temporarily unable to see.
So, in the light of the news of resurrection, did they leave the tomb with one hand out in front of them, so that they didn’t run into trees and bushes that they couldn’t see?
Or, (unlike camera flashes) does the light of resurrection give such light as to improve our vision rather than diminish it? Am I better able to see the seeds, smell the grass and experience the texture of the petals because of the Good News of Easter?
In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, icons are an integral part of the worship experience. These icons are extraordinarily beautiful images of the foremothers and forefathers of the faith, Biblical scenes, or representations of the saints.
The word icon means window. In the Orthodox tradition, it is believed that these visual representations open a window into a deeper understanding of the faith.
Perhaps that is the way in which I experience my senses to be redeemed. Instead of seeing my garden better, I am able to see my garden as an icon, a window: a window through which I am more able to see the fingerprints of God.
An preview of today’s sermon:
They who had seen Jesus call Lazarus forth from the tomb were stunned and amazed and even disbelieving when confronted with the empty tomb and rumors of a risen Lord. But once they knew it to be true, they didn’t ask Jesus for the play-by-play. The text says that Jesus showed them his hands and his side and then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Their response to the risen Christ is joy. But, approximately 2000 years later, what is our response?
Resurrection doesn’t make sense to us. We would like very much to be able to explain it so that it fits somewhere into our rational, logical, scientific worldview. But we can’t explain it; and it doesn’t fit. We still have questions.
I wonder sometimes if our questions give us such discomfort that, instead of living with the unsettling mystery of Easter, we settle for something less. Easter ends up being more about colorful eggs and chocolate bunnies and green-bean casserole. Those are things that make sense.