For this year’s Lenten Guide, each member of the Council staff chose a verse from a favorite hymn to write about. We will post their reflections throughout Lent, for Ash Wednesday, each Sunday and throughout Holy Week.
I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known
“In the Garden” ~ Baptist Hymnal 2008 #476
As a hymn, “In the Garden,” is sometimes panned for its lack of theological substance, and has been referred to as a sentimental ballad. Perhaps that’s why it touches my heart always, but especially during the season of Lent.
As a child, I often heard this song being sung or hummed by my Baptist preacher father. Later as a very cool teenager, it was just the basis of the corny joke he often told about knowing God’s first name – It was Andy. And-eee walked with me, And-ee talked with me….
Fast forward several years and I appreciate the poetic license the author took in weaving a visual picture around Mary seeing Jesus after the resurrection. As an adult who has experienced great happiness and heartache, there is immense comfort found in imagining the peace of the early morning, the soft dew drops on the flowers, and hearing the voice of Jesus claiming me as His own. As we observe this time of reflection and repentance, and do so amid a world in daily turmoil, the joy we have in Christ is real and a sentiment we can all share.
As we remember the death and resurrection of God’s son, let us mindfully rejoice in God’s love for us and carry that into a world in need.