1 Peter 1.22-25
22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth* so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply* from the heart.* 23You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.* 24For
‘All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord endures for ever.’
That word is the good news that was announced to you.
We are studying a book called “Soul Keeping” by John Ortberg in our Tuesday morning Study group. He talks about what our soul is – and how we nourish it, in God’s grace. (I would encourage you to read this one if you are not a part of the class.) Ortberg says that “soul” integrates our being, bringing together all of us, the physical, mental, and spiritual; not separating us as we sometimes tend to think of the spiritual. Salvation and healing, he says, is wholeness.
We do not think a lot about our souls in our culture, and yet, there is an undercurrent – a searching for the spiritual. The author here says that we find that which we seek and make our souls whole and pure, when we yield our will to that of Christ. When we obey the truth, by knowing Christ, building our relationship with God, accepting God’s gift of grace – then that shows in our lives. We live in wholeness – no longer impostors; we are genuine, authentic servants of Christ. And authentic servants of Christ love one another deeply from the heart. The soul is not just something which lives on when we die – we must nurture our souls, bring them to life in this life. It is about living in the here and now, serving Christ and loving one another.
We have been born anew, in Christ, in grace. The Spirit, born within us, is a part of us – in the Spirit, our souls grow and are nurtured; we are not just perishable bodies, like grass that withers and flowers that fall. We become imperishable souls, as the soul is nourished and grows within us. And that soul within is nourished in the Word – the Word which is Christ, the good news of grace and salvation found in him – his Word endures forever.
Grass withers and flowers fade – flowers from the monastery at Tabgha, where Jesus fed the multitude