Don’t you know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. - Romans 6:3-4
And yet, there is something essential that does not move. It is an inward observer who has always been present and knows my true identity. All of my changeable states, ideas, desires and personality orbit around this deepest part of me. This thread of continuity runs through all of me - body, mind and emotions. It is the good seed that Christ has sown in my heart.
This seed is the source of all true growth and positive change in my life. It is the force that overcomes the self-centered, self-destructive patterns that I am prone to. It is the new name that God has given me. If I allow this seed to take root within me, it gives me power to be transformed, little by little, until I am remade in the image of Jesus.
presence of Christ within me offers a new way to change. Rather than being buffeted by the storms of the world, the seed of Christ within sinks its roots deep into the bedrock of God. As this new life grows within me, I find that I am changing in ways that keep me in sync with the Way, the Truth and the Life. My changing becomes increasingly a process of abiding in Jesus.
This involves dying. My old, rebellious ways of living must fall away, and the pruning is often painful. So many of my old assumptions and habits turn out to be inadequate for life in the Kingdom. I see how often I try to control my relationship with God and other people by creating my own set of rules, a law. Yet, the baptizing power of the seed tugs at me, inviting me to walk in relationship with Jesus. When I truly love him, there are no more rules - only living commandments spoken moment by moment. On this hangs the law and the prophets.
In this new year, I resolve to seek the seed within, to be open to transformation by the Holy Spirit. In a world that is always changing, I resolve to make the unshakable presence of Jesus my reference point. With his help, I will seek a way that goes beyond the law - the rules that I substitute for a living friendship with Jesus.