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Summary: The arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane shows us what sin is like: it is ordinary, it is out of place, it is pervasive. Jesus is the master gardener who can eradicate our "weeds".

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No gardener wants weeds in his garden. But every gardener has them. Weeds are inevitable. Weeds cannot be avoided. So the question is, what will the gardener do to rid his garden of the weeds?

I love to walk around other people’s gardens. In other people’s gardens I don’t feel guilty about the work to be done. Now at our home, my wife is the real gardener, and I am just the go-fer. No, not the kind of gopher that makes holes in the lawn. I’m the kind you tell to go-fer the sack of fertilizer and go-fer the spade. But, still, when I look at our garden, I’m afraid I see a huge amount of work to be done. And so I’d rather walk through other people’s perfect gardens, where every plant is just right, every flower is complete, and no chip of mulch has spilled outside the boundaries. Other people have perfect gardens; at our house we have a work in progress.

On the first weekend in May every year the National Cathedral has a garden show, and you can not only go and buy little seeds and slips, you can also tour the Cathedral’s gardens. These gardens are, without fail, meticulously kept and beautifully manicured. Ah, but as I walked through the Bishop’s herb garden this year, I saw something. Something caught my eye as we rounded a curve. There, in the midst of all that beauty, all those carefully nurtured beds, a large, brassy, loud, flagrant dandelion! Aha, a weed! Right in the bishop’s herb garden! It made me feel just a little better about my back yard, where weeds flourish, though flowers fail. If even the Cathedral has weeds, then I guess it’s just part of the gardening experience, isn’t it? Just something to be expected.

And of course, it is. Weeds will show up in anybody’s garden. Weeds will show up, eventually, in everybody’s garden. No gardener wants weeds in his garden. But every gardener has them. Weeds are inevitable. Weeds cannot be avoided. So the question is, what will the gardener do to rid his garden of the weeds?

It was in one garden called Eden that the divine gardener planted trees and plants and vines yielding every good thing. It was in that garden called Eden that God created us and called us good. But into that same garden came an insidious, noxious, ugly weed called sin. Into that same garden came human sin, spoiling the perfection of the garden, marring the beauty of creation, and violating the will of the gardener. This weed, sin, was inevitable. It cannot be avoided. So what would the gardener do about the weeds in his garden? How would he rid his garden of these weeds?

It was in another garden, this garden called Gethsemane that the divine gardener worked out the answer. It was in this garden called Gethsemane that He dealt, once and for all, with this horrible weed that grows in every human life. In this garden, just outside a city wall, Jesus Christ came to pray, and in agony consented to do what must be done. In this garden they came to capture and to choke out the Rose of Sharon. But in this garden He burst forth from the tomb and destroyed that sin-weed, once and for all. I want you to know of that garden this morning. What happened in that garden tells us about ourselves and about what God is doing for us.


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