• Stephen Hill

The ministry of being a seed – Part 1

“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” – Mexican Proverb

I want to write this post to speak to those who may feel unseen and unknown. These days there is a huge pressure to gain a profile or even become some sort of celebrity. This is as prevalent within Christian culture as anywhere. The pressure to make an impact during your lifetime can be intense. The true perspective, however, is not limited to a few years on earth. The truth is, you can never know how effective your life actually is.

For some reason, eternity has been on my mind recently. Maybe it’s because of some recent happenings, some conversations, or maybe it’s because I have now passed my half-century. In looking at my own life, it seems that I am often so earth-bound and so time-limited. My understanding of the Christian life is that it is a heavenly reality and that it is eternal. Sometimes I get a bit anxious when I look at my age and consider what I have or haven’t achieved. Then I am reminded that I am just a dot in the great cosmic scheme of God’s redemptive activities. Yes, I am personally and intimately loved by Him but He is not depending specifically on my help to bring salvation to the universe. It really takes the pressure off my performance-oriented paradigm to realise that God is not hanging out waiting for me.

Eternity is a word that is a bit intimidating. It has become ‘uncool,’ reserved for the thunderings of fundamentalist evangelical preachers. The older I get and the more I get new levels of insight into the Scriptures, however, the more I see the bigger perspective.

When the spacecraft ascends through the stratosphere, there is a perspective of earth that is seen from space. Our pulsating planet becomes a dot in the velvet-black expanse. When we look at life from the perspective of eternity, the nations are just a drop in the bucket (Isaiah 40:15). God has infinite compassion on the peoples of the earth and on His creation, but every empire ultimately bites the dust. The puny programmes that many of us are pursuing have lost an eternal resonance, and I somehow doubt that they speak to principalities and powers.


Many Christians are concerned, even obsessed, with ‘ministry.’ We strive to be noticed and to be active. But there is a ministry that few have sought out and it has escaped the ambition of many. It is the ministry of being a seed.

Have you ever considered that you are a seed? That you contain hidden life which will never die and whose germination will flourish in future centuries or millennia?

Have you considered that you are a seed of some plant that will grow in resurrection life beyond your lifetime?

Has anyone tried to bury you? Do you fear being lost in obscurity and submerged in the seeming insignificance of a mundane life?

Do you realise that you are a seed?

An embryo is hidden in secret before it is given birth to. If we have an eternal perspective, we will see that it may be over the course of a number of lifetimes that our ‘ministry’ will come into effect. What you are sowing now may not even be reaped in your own lifetime. Here’s a thought to ponder; maybe you are not sowing as much as you are being sown.

Maybe your life is about the formation of a seed. After all, Jesus said that His Father was the gardener (John 15:1). I like to think that we are the seeds of God’s planting, and that He is sowing us into a cosmic soil, and one day we will appear as flowers and plants. We often focus on our own lifetime, thinking that we are responsible for what we achieve here on earth during our lifetime. What if it’s a lot more than that? What if you are being sown by the Father into the rich loam of Spirit and the impact of who you are as a child of God will be is beyond your wildest imagination?

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