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~death and rebirth~

May 28, 2010

I’ve been in my garden quite a bit these past two weeks.

I love digging in and working the soil. We share our garden with another family. Together  we staked out our plot, triple tilled it, tilled lime and our compost into it, planned what would be part of our garden and how our crops would be organized, and have now begun planting our seeds.

This past week I returned to our plot and spent the evening hours there. Beauty and truth found me.

This beautiful and sweet smelling compost that I was adding came from our decomposed vegetables, fruit, leaves, coffee grounds, and other compostable items.

:::This that died is providing nutrition for new life.

People that knew me 20 years ago would not recognize who I am now.

I died to my old self and chose to seek new life in, through, and with Christ 17 years ago. It has been a journey of good and difficult times and I often look back to know and remember that I have grown.

She who died to her self is providing nutrition for her new life:::

After adding this rich soil to our parsnip bed I watered it all thoroughly.

Just as water is vital for our crops to grow, time in God’s word is vital for my new life in Christ to further develop.

Today I revisted a passage in Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis. Allow me to share a brief excerpt of a section he titled “Who We Are Now” on pgs. 140 & 141.

“Paul writes in Colossians, ‘You have been raised with Christ’ (Colossians 3:1). I have this new life, this new identity that has been given to me. I have taken on the identity of Christ.

Paul continues, ‘You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.’ These first Christians kept insisting that something so transformational was happening in the lives of followers of Jesus that they could refer to their olde lives as ‘the life [we] once lived’ (Colossians 3:7).

It is not that we are perfect now or that we will never have to dtruggle. OR that the old person won’t come back from time to time. It’s that this new way of life involves a constant, conscious decision to keeping dying to the old so that we can live in the new. Paul describes it as Christ being our lives.

Paul goes so far as to insist in another letter that if we are having this new kind of transforming experience with Christ in which we are taking on a new identity, we are literally now a ‘new creation’ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I am being remade.

I am not who I was.

I am a new creation.

I am ‘in Christ’.

When God looks at me, God sees Christ, because I’m ‘in’ him.

God’s view of me is Christ.

And Christ is perfect.

This is why Paul goes on to say, ‘Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved…'(Colossians 3:12).

Did you catch that word in the middle?

Holy.

Not ‘going to be hold someday’. Not ‘wouldn’t it be nice if you were holy, but instead you’re a mess’. But ‘holy’.

Holy means pure, without blemish, unstained.

In these passages we’re being told who we are, now.

The issue then isn’t my beating myself up over all of the things I am not doing or the things I am doing poorly; the issue is my learning who this person is who God keeps insisting I already am.”

I have learned a little about this new life Christ has made in me, but it is not over. This journey is not easy, but it is full of beauty, truth, and restoration. My old self is only one root of who I am…but it is a root I can continue to grow from. Thanks be to HIM.

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