Reflection: The story for today finds Jesus six days before he was going to die. How would you feel if you knew for sure you were going to die six days from now? Wouldn’t you be preoccupied with death? Distracted by it? Would you not become philosophical about death? Well, in the passage for today, Jesus is philosophical about death. He is philosophizing; he is thinking; he is contemplating for it is only six days until he is going to die.
You can almost see Jesus words; they are so visually clear. “If a seed is planted into the ground and it does not die, it remains a seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds and seedlings and those seeds and their seedlings produce much fruit.” His words are so visual. And it all begins with the seed dying. Could it be that the key to life is death? Could it be that the key to living is dying? Could it be that dying is important to living? Could that be the key to my life? Dying? These words are especially poignant during this time of crisis when infection and illness are very real concerns for all of us.
Pastor Brice Thomas:
I'd like you to take some time now to hear our sacred story. It comes from the Gospel of John Chapter 12(20-36). Listen and experience the crowds around Jesus.
Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus. Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.“Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.”Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him.
Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine. The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” He said this to indicate how he was going to die.The crowd responded, “We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. How can you say the Son of Man will die? Just who is this Son of Man, anyway?”
Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.” After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.
Friends this is our sacred story. It's the word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.