The Discipleship of the Seed
We, as Christians, are all followers of Jesus, and a result of his life lived, and his death endured. We will all continue to pass away, and be received quietly into glory, until the Lord comes back.
This world may not stop and lament at our passing, nor may it seem like anything has changed. But indeed, the passing of God's faithful saints speaks loudly in the heavens, and the reverberations of their lives lived continue on in the life of the Church still here on earth. The Church is all those in Christ, no matter what time period God chose for them to live in.
We should remember those that have gone before us; the centuries, and millennia of service, the lives lived, the struggles they fought, the continuing on in the midst of the heaviness of the unknown, the likeness of the journey we share with them, the shade we walk in from the seeds God planted through them. It often may seem that in this life, this journey of following Christ in which we live towards fulfilling that which He has called us to fulfill on the earth, there is a never-ending struggle and a cross too heavy to bear.
When we walk this way, the way of Christ, we are constantly dying, in that our lives are like a seed God has planted, and our lives, and our constant losing of them to the causes of God, are birthing something so much greater than our lives: life for others. In this dying, we are actually bringing life into the world. What is it that the Holy Spirit is birthing into the world through your life lived?
We ought to remember that the work we toil in is for the life of those around us, and those that will come after us, no matter if they remember our names or not. Let compassion for them be your strength in enduring! Always remember Christ, let him work his mighty power in you (Colossians 1:29) and give you the strength and supply you need. Remember how he himself endured for the life of the whole world. Be filled with the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) The fruit of the Spirit is the life of Christ in you, as well as the holy incense of the burning of the sacrifice of a life surrendered for God.
The process of the dying of the seeds of our lives is discipleship - and I would like to turn our attention to the example of the Lord Jesus himself that we might meditate upon it and receive the endurance only God can supply.
Discipleship is becoming like Jesus. Jesus's teaching about the seed of wheat that will remain alone unless it dies was referring to himself, and was also a teaching for us. His life lived and death were both at the same time teachings and examples. He both told us and showed us what it is to follow him.
Jesus walked before us and modeled and fulfilled the way for us. He would never ask us to do anything he himself did not go through or endure. He is both the one who disciples us and our model for how to disciple. He was that true and first seed that gave us life.
In discipleship, in the Christian life, in missions, we cannot give what we have not received from Jesus. However, we can follow his example, die for the glory of God and for the life of others daily, and experience the joy of seeing God's Church and Kingdom growing and flourishing. Perhaps for some this vantage point may only be experienced at Jesus's side in Paradise, along with the brothers and sisters that watched you run your race.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." John 12:24-26 (ESV)