Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor." John 12:20-26
There is something about late February and early March. I think a lot about planting a garden, even in those times when I know I won't be able to. I ache to get my hands in the soil, to engage the mysterious and wondrous process of caring for seeds and soil and waiting for the earth to be transformed. Burying seeds deep or shallow, depending on the plant, watering, weeding and watching - these are things that signal the fullness and promise of life.
Jesus was sought out by foreigners who wanted to meet him. He used it as an opportunity to teach. I am sure there was a question about the meeting and Jesus used it as a moment to deepen their understanding. He asked them to imagine a grain of wheat which is most alive if it dies. Wanting us all to know that he was to die and be resurrected, he told them this story. But he also told them this story for another reason. We must be ready, throughout our lives, to give up the husks, the identities we cling to, in order to make life and love thrive again. We must be willing to let go so that love can flood the world again.
Today I ask God to help me let go of my husks and shells. May we not hide it what has been but seek the transformation and change of our loving Creator. May we go to the ground to be born anew, so that the world might know God's love as we offer our all.