How Something That Sounds So Sweet Can Be So Wrong

(Thanks to my men’s LifeGroup for the ideas that follow.)


“In The Garden” is one of the best-loved American hymns of the 20th Century.

Back in my Mt. Carmel days, I well remember saying, “Turn to #314 in your hymnal and let’s stand and sing ‘In The Garden.'”

Yet the hymn’s refrain makes some deceptively shocking claims:

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.

Shocking claim #1:  it’s me and Jesus in our own privileged world and private relationship.

Shocking claim #2:  no one else has ever known such intimacy with Jesus.

Ponder that.  No one else in all time or in all creation has been as close to Jesus as I am right now.

Of course the irony in that is this:  if you’re really that close to Jesus, you don’t go around boasting about it.

So In The Garden’s sweetness belies the false picture of the Christian faith at its core.

I don’t imagine we’ll be singing it at Good Shepherd any time soon.  But there’s always Elvis’ version: