Paraklēsis : Seed March2022
“What came first, the chicken, or the egg?”
I always thought that this was a whimsical question to ask when trying to solve a problem where the most plausible reason for the problem seems to have come from the problem itself. It is a circular reference that seems to have no end or beginning. Little did I know that this question is a philosophical dilemma that was first asked by an ancient philosopher centuries before Christ. And today, this idea of “infinite regression” is still studied, discussed, and argued in philosophy classes. Of course, evolutionists say the egg came first, but that’s because the question only says “egg” and not “chicken egg.” Of course, dinosaur eggs existed before chickens. (duh) Well, some evolutionists say that the chicken came first because the first “real chicken” was a mutation that happened inside an egg which was not yet a chicken egg. Hmm. The best answer came from a 6-year-old girl who answered, “the egg of course, because eggs are for breakfast and chicken is for dinner!” Humor aside, in 2010, scientists did answer the question by discovering that a certain protein required to make the eggshell is only found in the ovaries of a hen. “It had long been suspected that the egg came first but now we have the scientific proof that shows that in fact the chicken came first,” said Dr. Colin Freeman, from Sheffield University’s Department of Engineering Materials. Yet one more example where science supports what the scriptures teach us, but then, I am not sure that should be taken seriously either.
God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:21-22)
We know that the life God created is able to reproduce. The mechanism that allows an organism, like man, a chicken, a tree, or any life form, to grow and develop and reproduce and multiply is a key tenet of life and it is commonly referred to as the seed.
Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so.
In the plant kingdom, there is an amazing diversity of seeds that exist. The largest known plant seed is the Coco de mer, or “double coconut palm.” That tree’s fruit weighs about 50 pounds and contains one massive seed. The smallest seed we know of is that of an orchid called Aerides odorata. Sitting on a table, that seed would be about as tall as the thickness of two sheets of paper. In plants, fertilization produces a dormant embryo (a seed) but in animals, fertilization produces a live embryo. There are terrific spiritual lessons to be learned from both of those, but here we will look to plant seeds for a lesson. A seed remains dormant or in hibernation for some time until the conditions are right for it to germinate. Germination is the “waking up” of the life stored in the seed; it is the transition from dormancy to vitality.
In modern times, some “Judean date palm” seeds were found in Herod the Great’s palace in Masada, Israel and in Qumran, where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. The seeds were carbon dated and found to be about 2000 years old. In 2005, some of those seeds were germinated and have since grown into trees that live today. Imagine, the life force of a tree was hanging around for millennia, patiently waiting for the conditions to be favorable.
When the conditions are right, the life inside the seed will be initiated and the seed will be transformed into a plant. Like a seed, the conditions will be right for the marriage of the Lamb only when she makes herself ready. And that involves her donning the bright, clean, fine linen defined as “our” (my and your) righteous acts. I guess our righteous acts will make the conditions right.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (Revelation 19:7-8)
The Kingdom of God, in at least one respect, is somehow dormant in our lives until we “throw the seed into our garden,” or “hide the leavening in our flour.”
So He was saying, “What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it? “It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden; and it grew and became a tree, and THE BIRDS OF THE AIR NESTED IN ITS BRANCHES.” And again He said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? “It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”
When the conditions are right, the potential for explosive, miraculous, glorious Life will cease to remain a potential and it will become real and active and present. In physics, the opposite of “potential energy” is “kinetic energy.” (At rest vs. in motion.) I think this term is appropriate here, to describe germination of a seed as the conversion from “potential life” to “kinetic life.” Waking up the seed from dormancy will give us Kinetic Life – Christ alive in us. The potential needs to die to be transformed into kinetic.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Messiah, speaking of His own death and His role as a re-creator, referenced the act of germination and called it a type of death. I believe this is because once the germination is started, it is irreversible. Existence as a seed with the stored potential of regeneration is “dead.” The life force of the seed has been initiated and there’s no turning back. It can only happen once.
“The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. “Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. “Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. “Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 8:5-8)
So, let’s say that I am a seed of God, storing the potential in me to reproduce into His image. I need to be sure that I have “good soil” so that I am able to produce a crop a hundred times as great. What will that crop consist of? What types of fruit can I, should I, will I produce?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:22-24)
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
Peace to you and glory to God!