No. 38 - 14th May 2017
My wife Sally, who’s the real gardener in this family, asked me if I would go and get some things for her from Staverton’s Garden Centre in Halland. On her list were three Sweet Alyssum plants. So I went through to the plant section at the back expecting them to be in alphabetical order, which of course they weren’t. Well, I couldn’t tell an Alyssum from a – hippopotamus, so I went and asked one of the assistants where they kept the Alyssum. He waved me in the direction of one corner and when I finally found them, there were no Sweet Alyssum. I went and found the assistant again and said, “Do you have any Sweet Asylum”. He looked blank, and the assistant beside him tried to smother a giggle. I thought, “Silly man, I’ve just been talking to you about them.” Well, once we had sorted out my confusion, I got what I wanted. I mean to say, Alyssum, Asylum, what difference does it make. It’s got all the right letter, but not necessarily in the right order, as Eric Morecambe might have said. And yes, I know, there are two S’s in Alyssum, but why spoil a good story with the facts?
There are those in the Church – some of them quite high up – who say that the resurrection of Christ was just a spiritual resurrection, you don’t actually have to believe that his physical body was resurrected. I don’t know whether it’s too intellectually embarrassing to insist on the real thing, but they say it doesn’t really make any difference. I mean, Alyssum – Asylum, what’s the difference. Why should it matter?
Well, reading the Gospels, I would say it matters a lot. The Apostles went to great pains to point out that after the resurrection, Jesus wasn’t just a ghost. He even asked them for some bread to eat, to show that he was real and physical. Not some disembodied spirit. Of course it matters. If God couldn’t raise Jesus physically from the dead, as was prophesied in the Old Testament, then all the miracles can be called into question. Even his claim to be the Messiah. He once said to a woman called Mary, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even if they die; 26 and whoever lives through belief in me will never die”. Hah! Never mind all the science that goes into prolonging life. This is the real thing. Any way, I must go now.
I have to water my wife’s Asylum.