23 March 2021
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:24)
Many things that Jesus said came as a shock to the Jewish Leaders. Often, they said that he could not be the Christ because he failed to follow their laws and think their way. Yet when we study scripture, we see that what Jesus did and taught had been done and taught from the beginning, but just not understood. The Parables are not clever original stories told by Jesus, they are a rephrasing of Israel’s history in a way that the real meaning of God’s plan and purpose can be understood.
Jesus Statement about the necessity of death to bring life is first told in the creation/salvation story of Noah. Where the understanding of the authors was clear that there needed to be a distinction between righteousness and unrighteousness. Noah went through a dying to everything that he knew and had held dear. Entering the ark meant giving up his life, so that new life could be brought into the world.
In John 12 as Jesus is preparing the Disciples to follow the way of the cross, he continues, “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. “ ( John 12:25).
We have established that this means hating the world’s unrighteous systems and not hating the world as an environment, and that we are not called to self-loathing but we are called out of an individualistic obsession with our own interests.
This Lent as we have focused on building our life in Christ and working out our salvation with fear and trembling, what can we reorder in our lives to become less individualistic and more community minded. This time last year as we entered the “Level 5 lockdown,” we realised the necessity of putting others first and acting in the interests of others. The world’s care for others soon faded. Giving up individual rights for the sake of others was rejected people were not prepares to die to self, and Jesus words convict us.
But not so with us, let us continue to stand against the unrighteous ways of the world and care less about our personal liberties and more about the dignity of all, the safety of all, the well-being of all.
in Luke 12:vs 4 and 5 Jesus says we should not fear the things that can kill the body, but we should fear that which can lead to eternal separation from God. The real danger here is not COVID 19, but how we respond in love and mercy and grace to a world that is suffering.
As we journey with Jesus to the cross, let us build an Ark of the Kingdom of God and put to death the kingdom of this world.
Let us pray.
Lord God as we continue to face a Global Pandemic, may we be mindful of the needs of others the suffering of others and the concerns of others. Give us strength to stand up for righteousness, to always act with mercy and to walk humbly with you our God.