The Doctrine of Seeds
It is early in the birth of creation. There is not even yet a sun or any lights in the expanse of the heavens, and yet God calls the earth to begin sprouting and it does. Plants yielding seed and fruit-bearing trees, trees that bear fruit in which there is more seed, all coming forth from the dry land. Born from his voice and reaching out towards the pre-sun light that was spoken into being on Day One, the one that we don't understand.
It is Monday morning. I am awake and sipping tea and turned away from my open Bible, staring out the window instead. The sky is dark, cold, but the sun is creeping up. I don't know where to start with everything I want to begin. I want to start this year strong, I want 2013 to be filled with good things. I want to please God and be a better woman, wife, mother. I want to be useful in this invisible kingdom; I want to be a part of it all.
It seems much, much too big for me.
But the kingdom of God is not something huge; it is something tiny. It is something that starts so small and then grows. It is a seed. A mustard seed.
Like those first plants at the birth of creation, we start small and then we grow. Something breaks forth out of the dry ground and we begin to bear fruit- and our fruit is like their fruit: seed-bearing. By it's very nature it's designed to reproduce, to live on. To be scattered out and replanted.
We become a part of the growing kingdom as our fruit bears seed. Naturally.
It is seed that obeys that command of creation: to reproduce "according to it's kind." It only produces that from which it came, and nothing less. It began as imperishable, mountain-moving stuff and it continues to be so.
God's seed abides in us and for that reason we are empowered to live fruitfully.
We can sow and reap bountifully because "He who supplies seed to the sower will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness." Basically, God is able to make our fruit so sufficient that it overflows and abounds in good works, scattering new seed with every breeze as we love "not in word or talk, but in deed and in truth."
We have enough seed to sow bountifully in this world.
We are enough to be sowers.
Because it is not about our own skill in sowing seeds, it is about who we are as fruit-bearing Christians. In our words of encouragement, in our selfless acts, in our secret kindnesses, in our perseverance through trials, in our love for one another... our fruit shows. And it bears seed.
The living fruits of our Christian lives are constantly shedding little seeds of the gospel.
In the parable of the sower, the man does not worry himself about where his seed falls. He is not judged on the measure of the yield. The soil is judged, but not the sower. He seems to move forward with confidence, as if his only responsibility is to scatter an endless supply of seeds, without judgement, onto many different types of ground.
In his last hours with the disciples, Jesus told his friends that they were like a living organism. After his death, they could continue to live and thrive and grow - they could bear fruit. He would be the vine, they would be the branches. All they had to do was abide.
"Already you are clean," he told them. Already you are enough. Now abide in me and let me make you fruitful. You did not choose me; you did not earn this. I chose you and that is enough. And now I have appointed you to bear fruit. Fruit which bears seed that is imperishable and a power that is un-matchable.
"By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love." John 15:8-9
Matthew 13, 17:20; John 15:1-11; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; 1 Peter 1:23.