Part of the mystery of the new birth is the power of the seed. New life in Jesus is something more than a resolution to follow him, more than human determination to become a better person. It really is a new birth. It is a new creation: something that did not exist before is called into being by God's voice. Peter, friend and follower of Jesus, describes this new birth in terms of an imperishable seed.
“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” ~ I Peter 1:23
Inside of an apple seed are the instructions--the potential for an entire apple tree. Deep inside the seed is the DNA, and the genetic code sets the course for the seed, the sprout, the plant and the tree. An apple seed will produce an apple tree, nothing else. The natural world reflects the wisdom of the spiritual world. Have we ever stopped to consider, "What is the destiny of God's imperishable seed planted in me?"
Yet DNA is not destiny: it is potential. Without the right soil or the right temperature, without enough water, the seed cannot reach its potential. The imperishable seed inside of each believer contains the possibilities of Christlikeness. To be born from above means that we have heaven’s genetic code implanted within us. But we are the soil: the choices we make shape our future in Christ. Becoming like Jesus is a partnership: his DNA points to our destiny, our choices shape the outcome. Fortunately, the seed is imperishable: it is far more resilient than any flower or vegetable you have ever tried to grow!
Peter was there when Jesus talked about seed falling into the ground. He heard the Lord teach about the different kind of soil and their effect on the seed. Here in Peter’s letter, written decades after Jesus ascended to heaven, he reflects on the potential of that imperishable seed. He encourages us to choose heart-felt love that leads to obedience, because these ingredients are essential to reaching the full destiny of the seed.
Today's meditation: how will I tend the seed inside of me? His grace planted it there. Christlikeness is built into the imperishable seed. His DNA makes it possible for me to become like him, but my choices contribute to the outcome.