“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Unless a Seed Dies

What is the grain of wheat of which Christ speaks when he says "unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit" (John 12:24)? He speaks of himself. God himself is the grain of wheat. God himself falls to the earth and dies, but because Deep Heaven is hidden within the seed, because He is the resurrection and the life, he cannot truly die. Empty yourselves out of love, Jesus tells his disciples. Die to yourselves, lose your lives, and you will find the greatest treasure. The treasure is Christ, because though he emptied himself and gave all he had, in that very act of love did His cup overflow again. Though God empties himself, he is never empty, but always overflowing in new life. Why? Because He is Love, He is Life - it is in his very nature to become empty and to overflow, to die and rise in new life.

God is the fountain of life, of existence itself. He gives being, he creates, and that great power cannot be snuffed out. It is seen again in his Resurrection. But the paradoxical beauty of the way he creates is that it is through weakness, through emptying, even through the Cross. He is not only the fountain of existence from which creation flows, but also the dying seed from which the tree of creation grows. Creation is vast and endless, always growing, but in the most paradoxical way. Always when things appear bleak and barren, decaying or dying or falling into nothingness, always at that very moment there is rebirth and light bursting from darkness and beautiful fruit from barrenness.

The greatest evil is transformed into the greatest good, from suffering infinite joy will grow, and in death itself a seed of eternal life is planted. This paradoxical "pattern of Descent and Reascent," writes C. S. Lewis in Miracles, "is the very formula of reality." In His death is new life, in His suffering is the birth of eternal joy. It is a pattern in God himself, in his very being: "Because He truly lives, He truly dies, for that is the very pattern of reality."

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