Death, Rebirth, and Growing Like Weeds (My Redeemer Lives 1:4)

We aren’t the only things in this universe that die and rise.

Surprise!

As egocentric as we like to be, myself included, there is a whole world out there functioning quite unaware of any of us.

I’m reminded of hunting season. My husband is a bow hunter. He spends great time and care prepping himself to “enter the woods.” The woods is the domain of the deer. He might have dominion, but if he’d like to catch one for dinner, he needs to respect their domain. He uses special scent free shampoo, wears this camouflage suit with only his eyes peeking out, and virtually tip toes to his tree stand.

Nature is doing it’s thing, mostly unaware of us, until we make it aware. Just like us, every living thing has a life cycle. Jesus uses this life cycle in John 12 to teach us about life, death, risk, and eternal reward.

Pleas read John 12:20-26 –

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

People want to see Jesus (verse 20), obviously that’s the most important thing! If people want to see you, if your phone notifies you of a call or a text or a message, do you feel pulled to answer?

Jesus did not (see John 12:36 for confirmation). Instead, he tells a story about a seed. I think Jesus’s message is two-fold here.

First, He is prophesying of His own death and resurrection. The preceding verses are of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, the beginning of Holy Week. The verses that follow immediately after those we read continue to speak of the necessity of the cross, the grave, and an empty tomb. All of John 12 is a powerful testimony of what is to come for Jesus and the power He holds over life and death.

Secondary, however, I believe is a parable about our lives. You see, each of us are seeds, planted by the Sower. In this parable the Greek for earth is from the root word gé, meaning earth, land, or soil. It is related to the Hebrew term for earth, asitía, a broader term connected to God. Earth is seen by way of this term as “God’s physical theater, God’s arena.” 

We are in God’s hands, living His story, whether we know it or not. Unlike the deer, God is fully aware of our entries, our exits, and our treading on His soil.

The seed doesn’t go into the soil to tuck itself into a dark and safe place. We weren’t meant to live and die alone. The seed goes into the soil and is planted for a purpose. It dies to its former life, it gives up its identity as seed, relinquishing power to the sun, the rain, the soil to be reborn. We are reborn in baptism. The Spirit comes in with Its nutrients, living moisture, sunlight for our souls, and we grow. We can muscle against all of this or let Him fully in. We can get wrapped up in how it’s all going to turn out, or trust the Sower with the process.

Commentator Matthew Henry puts it like this –

“…let us beg Him to make us indifferent to the trifling concerns of life. ”

Forget the planting, the dying to self, whether the rain falls, cloudy days or sunny days, and let’s live boldly for eternity. This space and time in dark soil or bright sunlight is so temporary.

God makes each day eternally significant.

We die and we rise in Him, for Him, and only through Him.

Seed to soil, sun to seed, today to tomorrow.

Life, death, and more Life. That is our resurrection reality.

How can we live it boldly? Tell us in the comments or join the conversation on social media. Bold resurrection death and bold resurrection life – how do you see them lived out each day in yourself and others?

Resources:

http://biblehub.com/greek/1093.htm

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/matthew-henry/John.12.20-John.12.26

It’s a Journey – Written in Iron Ink: Weight Loss

I am never more amazed than when I get to sit down and hear the story of someone else’s journey.

Our journeys may look different from one another, but it’s amazing how God knits and weaves His purposes into every life, every journey.

On today’s podcast, I sit down and talk to Sara Borgstede at The Holy Mess about her journey of losing weight and learning new ways to organize and value her emotions. She also shares with us the challenges of setting goals and rewriting the messages she told herself along the way. In this conversation together, we’ll call out the cultural messages about food and body image, and firmly plant ourselves in the joy of relationships and grace that God gives to us along the way.

Sara shares insights around the Word with us and the wisdom that this journey from God is one of endurance; the race is steady, but sometimes can feel relentless, but He is also doing something New in our lives each day. Sara shares wisdom and insight discuss around two verses in particular— Hebrews 12:1-2 and Isaiah 43:19 :

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Behold, I am doing a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert. 

Do you hear the tension and the promise in each?

Sara offers her story to us, as well as her tips and encouragement for our own journey.

You can find Sara at

The Holy Mess

and

Faithful Finish Lines

Find the I Love My Shepherd: The Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher.

Above All Names – Savior

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,

who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:11

Luke 2 is the beautiful narrative of a tiny human’s emergence in this great big world. Tiny fists that would grow to bear nails meant for us. Tiny feet that would walk alongside fishermen, teachers, homemakers, farmers, business owners, tax collectors, and children. He would hold hands, start conversations, and eat among them, with eyes fixed on Calgary. It is also the narrative of a tiny heart beating wildly for those He came to save. Saving is really the work of God, of Christ, alone. He was born to save us – from death, from our fears, from our doubts. Jesus saves – tiny Baby Boy, Man convicted to death on a cross, living Savior of your heart and soul.