Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A Fallen Grain

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. The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?" Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light."
After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them. John 12:20-36

This time of year is both hopeful and scary, with potential and dangers abounding.  I love to get seeds and start them indoors, yet some always will do better than others. It is often my lack of knowledge combined with carelessness that can destroy the most fragile seedling. Likewise, some seeds are so intent on bringing life and flower, that carelessness and lack of skill will not limit their potential. Despite the seeming frailty, they still must be broken open, by water, warmth and light to give abundant life again. 

This Tuesday in Holy Week, we find Jesus anticipating the time of his death and resurrection. The people around him, especially his disciples, do not want this to happen. They want to hold back what needs to be. They do not want to see the true cruelty and violence of this world. We all ache for a softer, gentler world. Yet, we also know that the falling, the burying, the darkness cannot hold back new life. God's love is so strong that it breaks through the crust and stones of this world to bring abundant life. And we are invited to honestly and openly be part of this drama, this passion, when God's love and sacrifice is demonstrated for the whole world.

Today, I ask God to help me move faithfully through this Holy Week, this season of falling and breaking open. May we be those who are willing to share in this season, so that light and love might be brought forth in new and abundant ways.

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