|Grapevines rise up in the Wi’am|
Garden in the shadow of the Separation Wall.
Courtesy of Wi'am
By Bishop Hope Morgan Ward
"Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified. . .and they laid Jesus there."
- John 19:41-42
Wi'am Conflict Transformation Center, a mission partner of The United Methodist Church and a setting of missionary service, is located at the Separation Wall encircling Bethlehem.
Between the center and the wall is a beautifully cultivated and nurtured garden. The contrast between ugliness and beauty is startling.
I asked about the garden and heard this testimony from our United Methodist mission intern. "The garden is our witness against separation and oppression and violence."
This week Jesus is crucified. Palestinian Christians call the day of crucifixion "Sad Friday.” We weep with the faithful women at the cross. Joseph of Arimathea removes the body. Nicodemus brings myrrh and aloes. They anoint and wrap the body of Jesus. They lay Jesus in the tomb.
The tomb is in a garden. The garden is a silent witness against separation and oppression and violence. Through the dark night, through a long silent Saturday, through another night . . . the silent, beautiful garden holds Jesus.
Until the greatest of all miracles, very soon.
Prayer: Loving God, we wait in silence for your great miracle. Amen.
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward serves the North Carolina Conference. She is the president of the General Board of Global Ministries