Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Garden of the Heart

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Popular Western Culture has made the heart the fountain of all truth. There is evidence all around if you want to look for it.

The heart is a pump in both the emotional and biological senses. Biologically it pumps blood around the body - keeping us alive, and emotionally (sometimes seemingly from nowhere) it pumps out all kinds of desires and dreams that make up our emotional life and of which we have to try and make some kind of sense.

To put it another way, the heart is like a garden:
  • Every garden's situation is unique - shape, size, soil make up, climate etc.
  • Every heart is unique - DNA, environment, experiences etc
  • Every garden, left to its own devices, will have elements of beauty e.g. wild flowers, but the overall picture is one of disorder.
  • Every heart, left to its own desires will have elements of beauty - kindness etc, but the overall picture is one of disorder.
  • Every garden, left to its own devices, will ultimately become chaotic and ugly.
  • Every heart, left to its own desires will ultimately become chaotic and ugly - a black hole - sucking the life out of its surroundings.
  • If you let your garden do its own thing, no one will congratulate you for what it brings forth.
  • Yet somehow, in our culture, we expect to be congratulated for allowing our hearts to pump forth whatever it likes.
  • Even well kept gardens need constant attention to ensure they remain so. Weeds appear of nowhere soon enough and choke the work already done.
  • Well trained hearts need constant attention in the same way.
  • To bring order to your unique garden, you need a gardener to show you step by step what to do so as to bring order out of chaos.
  • To bring order to your unique heart, you need to the Holy Spirit of God to show you step by step how to bring forth a beautiful life of holiness (meaning a life that is looking to and looking more like Jesus Christ's).
Only in union with Christ does the diversity of the human heart finally find its highest purpose and expression.

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14

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