We were watching a service from Willow Creek church in the USA last night and Bill Hybels was talking about how Jesus told the parable of how the seed must die to produce the new life, in reference to his death and resurrection and how when we are reborn parts of us must die, that we must die to our selves which is a main point of christian doctrine. This is in John, Chapter 12, v24 -25, and of course reflects the parable of the seeds and soils, Mathew Chapter 13 v 1 -23
Bill said erroneously that the seeds need nutrition from the ground to germinate, but actually they don’t. All that is needed is moisture and warmth. All the ingredients are present in the seed to create the new plant until it grows its own leaves and can feed itself, through its roots in the soil (the word of God). Jesus says the soil can be rich or infertile and the world (weeds and bugs) determines how you keep the word. This set me thinking.
I thought that maybe this analogy goes deeper and further than Bills and I am going to give it a go! When a flower is pollinated, the new seed (or child) is created from both God and human. As the seed grows, it hardens and matures, forming a carapace that protects the seed until it has the ingredients to germinate (receive Jesus), and this can involve travelling some distance, can be quick or takes years. The seed can also get damaged, destroyed, lost on the journey to germination/receiving Christ. – See the likeness between us and plants??!!
So the essential, perfect real person, our heavenly being that we spend so much time on earth renewing our minds to become, is already there and is never actually lost. Jesus coming to live in our soul makes perfect what the world has changed. Like the seed, we have all the ingredients we need, we just need to receive the living water to grow. The seed husk that is left in the ground is our old self. When we become mature Christians/plants, God’s water supports us, but we also still feed from the word (Bible) and the world about us.We are no longer seeds but plants, and can grow or die. The perfection is still within us.
This somehow took me back to last year and reading my diaries for my autobiography. The whole thing made me feel dirty. And then I cried out to myself – why did no one protect me from these men? When I remember what they did, and I realised that maybe a protective father would have seen through them and brought parental pressure to bear and stopped things. Mum’s care seems almost uncaring, indifferent. She was wound up in her problems – I remember how she never even noticed I had mats in my hair. Would I have listened or just been a rebel? Would my dogged staying with DP been stopped with relief with someone intervening for me? I had the arrogance of the ignored child, so I may not have listened. I was so sure I was doing the culture of the 70s thing of free sex and being an adult, and was always surprised to find that my friends didn’t. Then I remembered someone did care, Mr Rodgers of the Springvale YC who would give me a lift home – thank you Mr R for caring. He warned me about Chris R, but I confidently said I could cope and in a way I did. I asked for it too in a way, and was proud of the early loss of my innocence (15). Yet the longest term damage was insidious and was made greater by DP with his gross insecurity and ignorance and sex addiction, he did a lot of the damage, which maybe no one could have seen, except in my own hardened attitude/carapace. But surely Mum should have stepped in and stopped it after he tried to hit me at the dance? Surely she saw his aggression? She called him the ‘uncouth youth’ , I dunno, she had her own problems.
So I grew a damaged carapace which stopped the water of Jesus from getting through for a long time. But I have drunk of it. This carapace has rotted away in the soil. The essential being that God has created is free, able to surface, and I am becoming the plant I should have been, and will be in heaven. Now I can deal with these weeds and bugs??