A great prophet has arisen among us, God has shown his care for his people. Luke 7: 16
All age time (for 0-100 years)
For today’s symbol put some grains of wheat/ rice/oats/barley (whatever you have) in a small bowl or dish (or use the whole packet if that is easier)
What love is this, to come among us as one of us
the Creator become one of his creatures
the Almighty, the Infinite, the Eternal
become limited by time, space and human frailty?
Yet freely you did it to share our experience
to free us, to redeem us
to make us your own for ever
All too often, like the crowds, we keep our distance
We don’t want to be involved
to wrestle with knowing and understanding you better
facing the hard questions about life and death
and being your people
We don’t express thanks and appreciation for all that you have done for us
Fill us with a longing to serve you
to live lives that give you glory and honour
and help in the building of your kingdom.
Through Christ our Saviour we pray. Amen
Bible reading John 12: 20-36
Hymn 405 We sing the praise
Andrew reflecting after he has taken the visitors to Jesus
I must have the letters M U G etched into my forehead. Those Greeks asked Philip about meeting Jesus. Why couldn’t Philip have taken them to Jesus himself? Why did he have to involve me?
I’m a fisherman to trade. I understand fish, nets and things like that. I don’t know much about farming, whether it’s arable (growing barley, wheat and other crops) or pastoral (looking after sheep), but Jesus will keep using farming images in his stories and teaching – and I don’t always ‘get’ what he’s on about.
Just now he was talking about the grain of wheat being ‘dead’ when it goes in the ground. I hadn’t really thought about that before. By the time the farmer starts harvesting his field the plant on which the seed grew is dead. All the green has gone from it, and there is just the seed head attached to dry straw. So I suppose you could say that the seed in the seed head is dead too. Yet when that seed is planted in the ground (unless the birds come and eat it, it shrivels up in the sun or gets choked by weeds – see, I was listening to that story!) in a few weeks you begin to see green shoots sprouting out of the ground, and what was ‘dead’ clearly is alive.
It’s not like that with people. When they die, you bury them and that’s it. We hope that one day we will rise from the dead, but that won’t be happening any day soon. Jesus seems to have been talking a lot about death lately. I must admit that I don’t understand everything he says – some of it almost sounds as if it’s in a secret code or jargon. I get the impression that he thinks his own death will happen quite soon, that it will be traumatic for him and those close to him, and that somehow his death will make a big change to the world.
I hope he isn’t right. We are in Jerusalem for Passover: partly there is a party mood about the place, partly there is an expectation that something dramatic could happen at Passover to bring all the corruption, inequality, injustice and pain to an end, and bring in a new era of peace and fairness. I’m sure Jesus should have a part in that. So we need him to be alive, not dead. Dead people can’t do very much
Prayers for others
During that special week in Jerusalem –
from the time he rode into the city on a donkey
to his last breath on the cross –
Jesus proclaimed and demonstrated
your abiding concern for justice and peace
your concern for the poor and the vulnerable
In his name we bring you now our prayers for others
for the poor and the vulnerable
for all who are in need
whether we know them or not…
And we sum up our prayers in the words of the prayer Jesus gave us
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen
Secure in God’s love
be steadfast in his service
and the blessing of God Almighty,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
rest and remain with you,
today, and every day, and for ever. Amen