Listen, download, or share this sermon. A sermon by the Very Reverend Sam G. Candler Easter Sunday John Alleluia! You are a beautiful sight to behold! Seeing you this morning is like seeing the resurrection of Jesus!
Actually, the first person to see and behold the resurrected Jesus was Mary, Mary Magdalene. And what a sight that must have been!
Imagine seeing Jesus standing right before you! Imagine what you would feel like, when you—and everybody else—knew that Jesus had died, that he had been enclosed in the grave; and then, suddenly, he was standing right before you. Imagine the heavenly light you would see, and the divine joy pumping your heart!
But No. The Gospel of John is very clear that this was not the scenario in which Jesus appeared to Mary. Mary, who was the first witness to the resurrection of Jesus, did not actually recognize Jesus.
Yes, Mary looked up on that first Easter morning and saw Jesus there, but she mistakenly thought he was the gardener. How in the world did that happen?
The Gardener Film Screening
How could she have not recognized Jesus? She had been with him for several years, very close to him. Some have speculated too close to him! She might have been the one to have washed his feet with her hair. Mary was as close to Jesus as anyone. How in the world did she make that mistake? One of my favorite paintings of the resurrection is a painting by Rembrandt, which shows this very scene.
There is Mary, weeping in the early dawn. When I have shown the slide of that painting to my classes, out of the blue, it is very rare that someone identifies that other person in the painting as Jesus.
Being The Gardener
And he is clearly carrying some sort of shovel, a gardening spade. He looks like a common ordinary gardener in the painting, just as Mary Magdalene is said to have spotted him. Yes, Mary mistook Jesus for the gardener on that first Easter, and how could she have made that mistake? She had traveled and ministered with him, maybe for three years.
She had admired Jesus tenderly picking up children just like … well, just as tenderly as he might be coaxing a young seedling from the ground. She had listened to Jesus carefully explain some stories just like … well, just like he might be tilling and preparing good soil. Yes, that has to be the reason Mary saw a gardener before her! She had witnessed Jesus being a gardener throughout his ministry! Mary had seen Jesus tear into people, especially the Pharisees, just like a gardener might tear into some overgrown thicket, cutting away the old growth. Mary had seen Jesus cut into new growth, too, training and trimming the branches that were his disciples.
Mary thought Jesus was the gardener, because Jesus is a gardener! Sarah the Gardener : o. Welcome to my garden. My books. Click on the picture to find out how to get one. Search for: Search. God Spots Moments of inspiration. Follow me on Bloglovin. Iranian Icons: "This film shows two completely different views on the religion. The director camera tries to portrait the example of two different generation of Iran through this story. Voice of Russia "This film speculates the meaning of life and faith. The International Federation of Film Critics " What Adam and Eve saw before Eve bit into the apple.
The Hindu: "The grammar and discourse of this unusual film — driven by a search for peace and understanding — is simultaneously rational, intelligent, poetic, and above all intensely civilised. There are several controversies surrounding the film. BBC notes that this is Makhmalbaf's most controversial film to date.
Both official and non-official Iranian media has been following and reporting on the story since Makhmalbaf first announced the film. Press TV , Iran's English channel, first reported the film calling him a "fugitive filmmaker". Iranians are not allowed to travel to Israel and thus Makhmalbaf and his team will be automatically sentenced to five years in prison should they ever return to Iran.
In addition, Mohsen's decision to present the film at the Jerusalem Film Festival in contravention of the BDS campaign caused some controversy.
Being The Gardener - Renée Hartleib
A group of social and cultural activists signed a letter to support him. Adrina Hoffman of The Nation wrote that what shocked everyone was that he kept saying "I love you.
Makhmalbaf responded on BBC, saying that boycotts do not change people's hearts, and dialog is a better way of understanding each other. The president of the Iranian film department sent a letter to the head of the Iranian film museum to remove all of Makhmalbaf's films from the museum's archives because he has travelled to Israel and made a film about a taboo religion.
Due to the treatment Makhmalbaf has received because of traveling to Israel to make the film, Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi and many other filmmakers are wary of giving their awards to the Iranian Cinema Museum in fear of meeting the same fate.