John 12: 23 – 26
“Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 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. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
It is Holy Week. Lent is drawing to a close. The anticipation of Easter is peaking.
Jesus knows his hour is nigh.
And in this space Jesus teaches us that holding on to our ego needs, our reputation, our grasp on security and significance, and our access to power and privilege is actually a lesson in futility.
For nearly forty days we’ve been offering daily reflections in the context of both Lent and the “Tell Your Pastor #imaffirming” campaign. We’ve been encouraging church folks to step up and speak out in support of LGBTQ+ justice in their worshiping communities. We’ve challenged people to look beyond their own privilege and recognize the harm LGBTQ+ people experience when their existence is problematized, excluded, or erased. We’ve highlighted the impoverishment of the entire body of Christ when the LGBTQ+ parts of the body are prevented from full participation. We’ve exposed the injustice of judging a way of loving and of building family as incompatible with scripture – when the culmination of all the scriptures is the invitational call to love God fully and love our neighbour.
Jesus says that when we let go of that which we think is keeping us safe and secure and cared for – we will find an entry to a whole new level of fruitfulness and flourishing.
Jesus, in the shadow of his impending death, exhorts us to risk on behalf of the other.
What have you found most challenging about reflecting on the call to stand up and speak out for justice? What have you found most encouraging about that call?
Lent is a season of penitence, prayer, and giving. How has this season expanded your heart?
Everything in us resists dying. Our natural inclination is to hold tightly to what we have. Grant us the trust and the courage to see what you are asking us to release our grip on and to let go. Give us a vision of the fruitfulness that can come when we are made willing to be more willing to lay down our life. Amen.