Sunday, March 22, 2015

Draw All People

 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.
"Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say-- `Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. John 12:20-33

Some missionaries who came to bring the Gospel to our Indigenous tribes, considered our traditions satanic. For many Native tribes, the Gospel was a welcome message, even though the methods were sometimes misguided. The people on this continent already knew God, and although our customs and dress may seemed different and disturbing, many wanted to know Jesus.  And we readily understood that we were welcomed as we were, for Christ truly offered himself for us all.

We are drawing close to the Passion, and our Gospel reminds us  of the sacrifice that is to come. We are also reminded that as Christ faced this time of trial, God was blessing him and the people around him. Even when we don't understand what is going on, God is drawing near to us and giving us the strength to face the days ahead.

Today I ask God to give me what is needed for today. May I carry the Gospel as an offering to others and not as something I possess. May we all offer the Good News to all who need a word of encouragement and a sign of hope. May we remember how vulnerable and needy we all are, and that God promises to draw near in all our times of need.

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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