The Holy Gospel according to St. John 12:20-33
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 12:21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." 12:22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 12:23 Jesus answered
them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 12:24 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. 12:25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life
in this world will keep it for eternal life. 12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. 12:27 "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. 12:28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." 12:29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." 12:30 Jesus
answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw All people to myself." 12:33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was
The Gospel of the Lord . . . . Praise to you O Christ.
Is it possible to imagine ourselves from outside of ourselves?? What I am asking is: Can you visualize your life from some overarching point of view?? Ok, I know this sounds strange, but I would like for you to think of who you are for a moment . . . . Consider the things
that cause you to get up each morning to begin your day . . . .
Try not to think too deeply about the things that drive you or motivate you like guilt, the need to "make a living" or the necessities of each day, but give yourself a moment to think about who you are without all of the demands, expectations and definitions that others or we
ourselves place on ourselves.
Who am I??
Most of us allow others to say who they think we are or who they want for us to become: As we go through life we find ourselves being defined by all kinds of voices!!! But is this who we really are???
OK . . . Now, in your mind try to think beyond all that stuff that has defined who you are. Don't think of your career, don't think of the bills that need paying (not even the tax bill or what you'll do with your refund!!) Don't think of school work, don' think of boys, don't think
of girls . . . for just a few more moments, don't think about what color eye shadow you'll be applying on Monday morning, (or hair gel for you stylish guys!). For this moment, don't think of the many things that we do to make us somebody . . . .
Consider that You are a THOUGHT of GOD!!! Consider that You are a spark of the creative energy that God spoke into being . . . don't try to think of when or how or why . . . just consider that you are -- because God is!
Now consider that you have come into being, because God is LOVE.
God in his infinite love, God in his unfathomable WISDOM lovingly created you. Yes, your body is by God's design more importantly, your Spirit is by God's Choice. You and I exist because our Divine Creator desired to bring us to life, and when we came into being there was a new
possibility for fellowship . . . . To put it more simply, God desired that we come into being, and so here we are.
Please remain with me in this thought process for one more moment . . . it will soon make sense when we listen again to Jesus.
Envision your life for what it is. You are not the summation of your fears, neither are you the product of your schooling or lack of schooling. The Real You is not the definition of what you do for a living or how much money you earn. You are not even defined by where you were born
or who your parents were or from what nationality you originated from.
So what is left of you if we remove all of these humanly constructed definitions of who we are??
You and I are spirit beings -- we are children of God. We were not intended to be bound by the things that people say about us or who we were told that we are (this could be good or bad), we are created as eternal souls. Therefore this present life that we live is not the whole of
who we are . . . and we are not meant to be bound by this present reality == We are called to be children of God Children of the light that God continually is bringing into the world. We are considering who we are in the eternal realm.
Can you feel yourself being free?? Can you sense that not even your body defines who you are. Although our physical bodies greatly influence how we feel, we should not allow our bodies to define who we are . . . . for we are really free beings (as God's creations) we are spirits
(or) we may define ourselves as souls passing through this way we call life.
Therefore, when Jesus says that we must die to ourselves in order to live-- he does not mean that we physically die, but that we die to all of the things that formerly defined who we thought we were. All of the labels, all of the expectations (of others!) can be let go!! We can
break away from the former thoughts that have enslaved us and become free to serve Christ!
We are unlimited spirit beings. And so when Jesus says that we must die to ourselves he means that, Like the grain of wheat, we must separate our life, our true self (as God defined us from Creation) . . . from the life that the world has imposed upon us.
Don't allow the world to define who you are!! But find the TRUE YOU in Christ the one who Truly Knows you . . . as we understand Christ to be one with God. So Christ knows you better than you know yourself!
Jesus said, "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." (John 12:24-26)
Let us pray,
Lord Jesus you call us each by name, indeed you give us our very souls. So when we go out during this week to come, enable us to remember that we live and have our very being because of who you are and that, in turn, we can enable others to become free of unhealthy definitions of
who they are.
more writings of Pastor Jon