Are you deeply buried?
The Message translation of John 12:41 states that the Old Testament prophet Isaiah had gotten “a glimpse of God’s cascading brightness that would pour through the Messiah.”
Cascading brightness pouring out. That is what is offered to you and me….every day, by God’s Presence indwelling our lives.
And there appears to be a connection between this “cascading brightness” and burial. Jesus taught, “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.” (John 12:24-25, italics added, The Message)
Likeness of His Resurrection…newness of life….cascading brightness pouring out….
Paul echoed this message to the Corinthians when he stated, “that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body just as He wished….” (I Cor. 15: 35-40, italics added NASB)
From this scripture…can it be assumed that God is a founder in “the body-building” business?
I would certainly say so…however, whether or not we grow “muscular” is the Spirit is a matter of choice. We play a crucial role in the completion of His desire, for it is our decision as to whether to hold on to “just as it is”….or to let go, “reckless” in our love for Him and for others.
The Message translates I Cor. 15:37-38 this way: “We do have a parallel experience in gardening. You plant a ‘dead’ seed; soon there is a flourishing plant. There is no visual likeness between seed and plant. You could never guess what a tomato would look like by looking at a tomato seed….”
Hold that thought, push the pause button. With that scripture forming the perspective, a looking-lens, focus in and consider: acts of encouraging others, proclaiming His goodness loud-and-long, reminding people of son-and-daughter-ship through Christ, sharing the truth of scripture, bearing others’ burdens, standing with them in prayer regarding petition for need, or exaltation of praise. Is there not a parallel between these plantings of “seeds”…and a future “flourishing” of vigor and strength that will occur in the lives of those who have been touched? Can we possibly predict what such small seeds might produce, planted in the garden of another’s life?
Cascading brightness pouring out….I admit it, I am hooked on that phrase, perhaps even captivated by envisioning the lifestyle represented by those words. “So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up and be alert to what is going on around Christ – that’s where the action is. See things from His perspective…your new life, which is your real life – even though invisible to spectators – is with Christ in God…” (Colossians 3:1-3, The Message)
Are you deeply buried? Am I? Will I allow it, even embrace it….will you?
After Jesus described the transformation that occurred when the grain of wheat was buried, He “went into hiding. All these God-signs He had given them and they still didn’t get it, still wouldn’t trust Him. This proved that the prophet Isaiah was right: ‘God, who believed what we preached? Who recognized God’s arm, outstretched and ready to act? …their eyes are blinded, their hearts are hardened, so that they wouldn’t see with their eyes and perceive with their hearts, and turn to me, God, so I could heal them.'” (John 12:36-40, The Message)
We are not those people – or, at least, it seems to me that we should not have their perspective… for we already possess His Spirit, He offers us an every-day opportunity to display cascading brightness. Yet the temptation to hold on to life “just as it is” remains as powerful as ever…and with results just as devastating: “…anyone who holds on to life just as it is, destroys that life.”
“His arm, outstretched and ready to act”….do we recognize it?
Maybe more importantly – Are we even looking?