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Day 36—Holy Tuesday, March 26

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 honor.


“We wish to see Jesus!” Don’t we all feel that way and we want Jesus’ response to be, “Welcome all who are weary and heavy laden (Matthew 11:28), We want him to say, “Of course welcome these Greeks; welcome the children; welcome ALL to come to me. I wish to see them ALL.” Jesus’ response, however, was not a response of welcome but instead he responded that the hour had come for him to be glorified. He then spoke of his impending death with the analogy of a grain of wheat. At first glance, we may be disappointed in his response, yet when we look further, we understand that Jesus knows that once he dies and is resurrected, ALL who believe in him WILL see him, all who hear of him CAN have access to him… IF… they are told the good news of the gospel.


That’s where we come in. Jesus left those first Christians and leaves us with a responsibility and a charge. Jesus was one man, one grain of wheat, but he trusted those he impacted during his short ministry. His disciples were few and the area in which he taught was small in comparison to the number living at the time and the many areas that Jesus’ ministry had not touched. The start of the church rested on those he left behind to carry forth his ministry. Had they been consumed with their own lives and gone back home to their own routines and business as usual, we would not have the Christian church today. The church was born because those Jesus taught were committed enough to leave their former lives and proclaim His word.


Last year a friend gave me a Canna bulb. I left it in the back of my car and never planted it. It shriveled and died. She later had extra and brought me another one. I planted it and it grew taller than I am. It also multiplied and I ended up with 6 or 7 huge plants with gorgeous red flowers. I thought of this mighty plant as I read this scripture. I also thought of the many saints in our church who have impacted me by the way they lived and shared their faith. Several have moved on to life eternal recently.


What am I doing to carry the mantle? What am I doing to make sure all can see Jesus? Am I leaving church on Sundays to do nothing. It’s easy to leave the task to others, but is that what God calls me to do. Let’s commit together to use whatever skills and talents that God has given us to proclaim Christ’s love and grace to all. Let us make sure that ALL are given access to SEE him. We are the ones who can multiply his followers if we act on his behalf instead of being complacent Christians. The fruit of his ministry depends on us!


Father God, use us, empower us, and give us the courage to carry your word, your love and your grace to our families, our communities, and to all corners of the world. In your mighty name, Amen.


-Ellen Austin

 

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