I remember the first time I planted a seed and watched it grow. It was third grade and we planted a bean seed and kept track of its growth. It grew fast with a little water and light. That was magical to me, and I have always loved growing things. But that wasn’t the kind of seed planting Jesus spoke of in John 12:24-25. I love ‘The Message’ version which says “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”

I’ve had trouble understanding that a seed would need to die in order to become a plant. A seed is full of the potential of life (and continues to be so) as it becomes a plant I thought! The problem, though, was with how I viewed the process. The seed is planted, it undergoes some sort of process (it varies a little bit on the plant type, but remains essentially the same), and then a sprout appears, and grows into a full-fledged plant. Can you dig up the plant, and find its seed down at the bottom, with ‘plantybits’ growing from its insides? No! It’s essentially died to itself! It ceases to be a seed in order for the plant to live, it can no longer find its identity in that of its old self, a seed.

That’s what Jesus is talking about here in a couple of ways. If we never plant spiritual seeds there is not a chance for people to grow and bear the fruit of the Spirit. In the same way, if we try to hold on to our life (the seed) just as it is–it dies. When we love Jesus “recklessly” we want to deny ourselves and give our life away, loving him and others more than ourselves–which results in his glory and our eternal life.

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it”. Mark 8:34-35.

Ask yourself how as a plant that was once a seed … are you still growing, bearing fruit, and planting seeds. Have you had any trouble in the growth process? If so, reach out to one of our pastors for help. We have a pastor on duty every day to take your call who wants to help you.

Deb Hill

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