A sermon on John 12: 20-33

In today’s scripture I could not escape the notion that God was sharing this scripture for one line: “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.”  I knew going into Holy week starting next Sunday we might need the reminder that new life comes out of death – that’s the only way to hang on through Good Friday until Easter.

And so it was that Parker Palmer in our reading on Thursday had our sermon for this week in chapter six – the sermon that you may need to hear and I definitely needed:

“In my own experience of autumn, I am rarely aware that seeds are being planted.  Instead my mind is on the fact that the green growth of summer is browning and beginning to die.  My delight in autumn colors is always tinged with melancholy, a sense of impending loss that is only heightened by the beauty all around. I am drawn down by the prospect of death more than I am lifted by the hope of new life. 

“But as I explore autumn’s paradox of dying and seeding, I feel the power of metaphor.  In the autumnal events of my own experience, I am easily fixated on surface appearances—on the decline of meaning, the decay of relationships, the death of a work.  And yet, if I look more deeply, I may see myriad possibilities being planted to bear fruit in some season yet to come.”

In my own autumnal events, I too focus on the dying, just as Jesus’ disciples could only focus on the dying – this is natural.  Normal.  Don’t beat yourself up about it if you are there too.  But our focus on dying is why we have the season of lent just before Easter – to remind us that there is far more to it than that.

To hear the whole sermon, click here.