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10TH AUGUST 2021


PSALM 112:1-9

JOHN 12:24-26


Today's Gospel passage is set in the context of the Passover Festival which is a remembrance of the Israelites' liberation from bondage in Egypt. It is about freedom and new life.

It's about letting go, leaving behind and moving into a new life.

In this festival, some Greeks tell Philip that they want to see Jesus without giving a reason, making us guess that maybe they have been attracted to Jesus based on the mighty signs that he has performed prior to the Passover Festival.

Why does Jesus tell them, " Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.?"

Jesus mentions wheat because it is the most important of the six species of the land as written in Deuteronomy 8:8 and valued as a divine provision for the people of God.

Spiritually, wheat symbolizes the fertility of the earth, renewal, rebirth and abundance.

If Jesus therefore talks about wheat falling into the earth and dying so that it can bear much fruit it means he has used a common symbol of that time to pass the message of fruitfulness and growth.

With what can we substitute wheat within our urban set up but still be able to see and maintain the fact of it dying or falling so as to bear much fruit?

The pattern of loss and renewal runs throughout our lives and our world and it can be by choice and other times by chance, and here Jesus is talking about loss and renewal by choice.

For example, have you ever fallen in love, and committed your life to another person? If so, you had to let part of your old life go and something of your single life died so that you could be with that other person. How about parenting? If you are a parent, you know that there are sacrifices of yourself and your life to be made in order for the new life of your child to emerge and grow.

What are the costs, the losses, you paid for an educationoracareer?

The Bible is full of stories of loss and renewal.

Innocence in Adam and Eve died so that consciousness might be born. Abram left his country and kindred so that he might be made a great nation. Jacob left his old identity and was wounded so that he could become a new man.

Jesus is inviting the Greeks and us today to consider with care what we have come to value, what we have come to accept as the way of the world, what we have come to define as desirable and know that seeing him or believing him is a way to be followed, a truth to be embodied and a life to be lived to the full and to the end.

The falling of a grain of wheat into the earth so that it can bear much fruit is an opportunity for us to reject fear at losing what we value so that an abundant life can sprout up, and to believe that something good and beautiful can come out of dead like situations.

What in your life do you need to let go of today? What might you need to live behind? What in you needs to die so that something new can rise?

"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."


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