Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 21
Contributed by Rebecca Simpson
John 12: 20-33
“Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.”
“We would like to see Jesus,” was their request. In response, Jesus
describes a kernel of wheat falling to the ground in death. Not the most
enthusiastic welcome for potential new followers.
But Jesus was living the reality of his immanent death right then. Perhaps the
intensity of the coming hour was a teachable moment more significant than a
handshake and a “where are you from?” sort of chat.
Turns out if you’d like to see Jesus it entails: a taste of death before the new
breath of life.
Seeing Jesus is like a seed that gives up its life as a small hard-shelled kernel
in order to gain its life as a full stalk of graceful wheat. From the seed’s
breaking open in the darkness of soil, new life springs; abundant life able to
sprout even more life. A stalk of wheat produces as many as fifty kernels,
each able to grow a stalk of fifty more kernels.
When we ask to see Jesus, we are sometimes presented with something
other than what we requested, something buried, something to be broken
open that for a time seems like death, but for all time turns out to be lifegiving. What is God’s Holy Spirit breaking open in you that you might see
Lord Jesus, we long to see you at work in this beautiful, yet broken world. We
long to see and participate with you in the healing, blessing, creating and
redeeming work of grace that comes with your resurrection life. Help us to
see what you see, grant us the vision and the way of a renewed creation.
Rebecca Simpson is the Director of Denominational Formation at St. Andrew’s Hall /
Vancouver School of Theology and Minister at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Mission, BC.
She sometimes misses the sunny breezy days she lived in the Swan River Valley of Manitoba
in view of the flowing waves of flowering flax.
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