5th Sunday of Lent - what counts in this life?
A Reading …
20 Some Greeks were among those who had gone to Jerusalem to worship during the festival. 21 They went to Philip (he was from Bethsaida in Galilee) and said, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.”
22 Philip went and told Andrew, and the two of them went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has now come for the Son of Man to receive great glory. 24 I am telling you the truth: a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, then it produces many grains. 25 Those who love their own life will lose it; those who hate their own life in this world will keep it for life eternal. 26 Whoever wants to serve me must follow me, so that my servant will be with me where I am. And my Father will honour anyone who serves me.
John 12: 20 - 26 Good News Translation
A Thought …
Today is Census day! That time when once every ten years the Government takes a snap shot of life in the UK and the results and data that is gathered in, is often very diverse and interesting. As I filled out my form online today I was struck by how many times it reminded me that they are looking for answers about my life ‘today’ under Covid-19 not what it would ‘normally’ look like! As I reflect on this and read the scripture above I am wondering… what was normal and what is now normal or will be again? Over the past year so many things have changed or been lost in my normal everyday life. Dying to self might be painful and costly but when I read through Nadia’s prayer below I can begin to see growth and new life emerging from what has been lost… what do you see? Take time to read the scripture and pray Nadia’s prayer… be willing to hear God speak to you. As we journey onwards during this time of Lent let us be willing to die to ourselves and live to serve Him … that is a life worth living for and dying for as Jesus so beautifully and sacrificially showed us. God bless you saints.
A Prayer …
Dear God who made us all,
A year ago we did not know that we were about to learn:
what we could lose and somehow live anyway
where we would find comfort and where it would elude us
whose lives matter to whom
why we have kitchens in our homes.
In mid-March 2020 all I knew for sure is that
hoarding toilet paper doesn't make you safe - it just makes you selfish.
But God, it feels like the world is about to open back up.
And I’m both thrilled and kind of scared about that.
Because I’m not who I was a year ago.
I want so badly
to hug my friends again
and laugh again
and have amazing conversations again
and yet I am not sure how long I could do any of this before crying or just getting really quiet. My emotional protective gear has worn so thin, and grief just leaks out everywhere now.
I am so afraid that I will never be who I once was. And I am also afraid that I will be.
And yet, when I quiet my anxious thoughts, I start to suspect that I am now closer to the me you have always known and always loved. So help me trust that, Lord.
As things change, help us be gentle with ourselves and with each other. We are all wearing newborn skin right now.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Lutheran minister)
Blessings to all,
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