“And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:8-9 )
I love this time of year when spring is just beginning to burst upon us in the full glory of crocuses, daffodils and hyacinths. The chirping of birds and chatter of squirrels greets you around every corner, and little green shoots are popping up all over the landscape. The energy that was dormant in the ground during the apparent quiet of winter is bursting forth with renewed life and vigor all around us.
Spiritually speaking, we also can experience the energetic transformation that spring seems to encourage in us. You may wonder what that spiritual renewal might look like…Glad you asked! Jesus had much to say about the inner landscape of humans. Just like the seeds that were underground in the winter are pushing upward towards the sun in new growth and life, our inner self can experience the same bursting forth as our hearts and minds are transformed by the renewal Jesus brings.
“… be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
Jesus was a great teacher, often using illustrations from the world around us to teach us about spiritual concepts. These stories are called parables and many are quite well known. One is often referred to as “The parable of the Sower”. The illustration discusses planting seeds in various types of soil and what happens with the seed based on the quality of the soil. (Luke 8:4-15). Even though Jesus was apparently talking about seeds and dirt, he was really talking about the words of God and the hearts of men. In fact, he explains these ideas to his followers to make sure they clearly understood (and we also) that he meant his teachings were the seed.
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God…As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:11, 15)
Repeatedly, in the Old and the New Testaments, we see the Bible pointing to Jesus and Jesus himself claiming his words hold true life and hope for all people. Our desire is that everyone has the opportunity to hear Jesus and be the “good soil” he challenges us to be. If you don’t know Jesus or need to reconnect with him, we invite you to come and see for yourself!
“And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.”” (Romans 15:12 )