Steadfast Love: Heart – Sunday March 17, 2024

What Christ talks about in John is transformation, new birth, a new life.


He had already mentioned it to the confused and searching Nicodemus at the beginning of the Gospel of John, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”[b] 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.[c] 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You[d] must be born from above.’[e]”.

He mentioned it in his teachings just a few chapters before ours today, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Abundant life.

This idea of new life, a new birth, a new way of being, is what Paul eventually taught the church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” New possibilities, transformation, new birth, new life, new creation, resurrection. The way things are are not the way things always have to be. Hope is here, change is possible. And that change begins in the smallest of ways. “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain, but if it dies it bears much fruit.” Seeds can be so small but it is from seeds that trees grow. Towering sequoias to cherry tomatoes, daffodils to giant sunflowers, they all begin with the smallest seeds. The largest living tree is a sequoia in California. It is more than 100 feet wide, 275 feet tall, and weighs 2.7 million pounds. And how did it begin? All of that potential, 2.7 million pounds of potential, in a seed no bigger than the tip of my finger. And the same is true for us.

God pours out grace. God plants seeds of love in our hearts. And those seeds of love, hold infinite potential. All the potential for new life, new possibilities, transformation, and resurrection, are planted right in your heart. The seeds for love, peace, patience, joy, kindness, generosity, and self-control to develop, are there. All the potential for an abundant life, has already been planted. “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel in those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

You know, we talk about this season of Lent being a time for introspection and self-reflection. A time where we identify the things we need to release, habits, patterns, ways of thinking and living, and the things we need to welcome and embrace, freedom, forgiveness, peace, new habits and patterns. And Lent is a time for those things, 100%. But what if, in these last two weeks of Lent, we did something else too. What if we nurtured the seeds of love in our heart? What if we watered them, tended them, and cared for them? Spent time in prayer or meditation. Read scripture. Spent intentional time with family and friends. Committed to worshipping in person or online. Spent time outside, especially on the sunny days. Lent, above all else, is a time of preparation, when we prepare to live into our resurrection along with Christ during Easter.


What Christ talks about in John is that resurrection and new life, the seeds of which God has already placed in your heart. How will you nurture what God has planted?

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