John 12: 20-26
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 honour.
Within this brief passage of Scripture we find a central sacred truth of spiritual life and a key understanding of Holy Week. “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.” Jesus is about to give his life so many can live.
At the same time he reminds us of the ‘upside-down’ process of spiritual formation and discipleship. It is the ‘first who will be last and the last being first’ principle. We must give our lives to find real life.
It is the image of baptism that takes us under the water in a symbolic act of death so we can arise from the water in the glory of new life. It is about sacrifice and surrender. It is about discipleship that counts because it costs. It is about offering our very best before the Lord. We offer our best in a personal commitment to pray. We bring our best in our desire to serve the world. And our best in the way we share our resources so the ministry of the church can flourish.
These are the challenges and the joys of Christian life. Are you experiencing the full joy of your faith?