There are no rocks, weeds or pesky birds in the garden of Christ our life. Not the ‘Christ in you’ one that Paul speaks of. The Sower is sowing the incarnation into the world. There are none of these pollutions and impediments. It’s not just a notional garden. It’s ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.’ The parable of The Sower is about the soil of the heart, the spirit and the soul and the extravagant fruitfulness that is ours when our gospel is what Jesus sowed and not a half-gospel, other gospel or a Christian version of the knowledge of good and evil.
But this post is not about the church and its failure to deliver. It has delivered in numerous areas but not to the potential that Jesus has empowered us. In adhering to half gospels and diluted gospels we impeded the fullness and the advance of the Kingdom of God. The ‘good soil’ has been less than abundant having been defined more as morality and good deeds and not what it was created to be: The radical incarnation of Christ’s life as ours.
OTHER GOSPEL ROCKS
The soil is strewn with rocks and stones as well as weeds and tares. These are old covenant usages and hybrid gospels that impede Kingdom growth. They produce members of churches rather than sons and daughters of God. And the seed that Christ incarnated as you and I does not bear fruit or not much because it has not been embraced into the deep soil of our spirit and soul. Someone has written, ‘The carnal mind of Adam cannot cope with Christ becoming flesh.’ In many cases it has not bothered or has fallen on soil so bereft of discernment that none but the basic contours of the knowledge of good and evil have been adopted – of course with a Christian gloss.
That’s it claim to legitimacy - as febrile as it is. Which is to say that religious people can resist the simplicity of the spirit of Jesus manifest as Joe and Bob – the radical simplicity of Christ come in the flesh. As a result people adopt as the normal Christian life the wound of separation from God and the project of institutionalism. Institutionalism is – a social form of legalism. It disciplines itself in the quest of obtaining the union with God that already belongs to all. This is the unwitting fraud of religion and why some of ancients called it ‘the great darkness.’ Thus we have the Christian Industry and the masses of Christian consumers who live in dependency and a false sense of separation from God.
The paralysis of this social wound comes from the fact that in living in separation from God we are separated from ourselves.
WHAT GARDEN ARE YOU?
Having settled for a garden of rocks and weeds much religion has been made out of separation and as a result we think we must find our own way to God – even though we are already with God and in the company of the trinity. Those of Greek disposition attempt it through the head. Legalists adopt all kinds of rationalisation to retain themselves in the law - thus perpetuating their blindness. Thousands of Christians attempt to overcome their perceived separation from God through themselves. This is why many of us must blunder on in this fruitless quest until we see that it takes us nowhere. Then we are ready to be rid of the first part of life and step into our new covenant inheritance in the second part: The Kingdom of God in us and with us. This marks the point where we are born again. This is the day on which we receive this scripture:
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20.