"all the past blotted out in the presence of the Living Present and the Eternal Future."
I am not surprised that "In The Garden" is one of people's favorite hymns -- it gets requested at Singspiration all the time -- but I still kind of go, "bzuh?" because in my head it is a funeral song (my immediate thought is of my mom telling me that it makes her cry because it makes her think of the fact that it'll be played at her mom's funeral). Ari loves it because it is a Mary Magdalene/Jesus hymn. While I have heard the "Mary Magdalene at the tomb" inspiration story in preface to singing the hymn before, I didn't actually really read the words thoughtfully in light of that until tonight. It definitely makes the "Jesus sends me away" ending to the hymn make a sense that it doesn't if it's a story about going to Heaven. I guess most people's sense of the song is that it's a happy dream that you've had about Jesus? I don't really know. Mostly I just get cranky about the "And the joy we share [...] none other has ever known" -- 'cause yes, each individual's experience is unique and non-replicable, but aren't we singing/loving the hymn because the narrator's experience resonates with our own?
Edit: It also occurs to me that this being a facebook survey means the respondents are likelier to skew younger than if it were, for example, a print survey distributed through the institutional church.