for Sunday, March 25, 2012
5th Sunday in Lent
lectionary focus: John 12:20-33
props: flower seeds
note: If you are not using the Packed Away Alleluia, just skip those references.

Good morning!

Let’s check on our box that we packed for the season of Lent…it’s still here..still waiting…and you know what? I’m tired of winter. I think it has been cold and dark long enough.

Today I brought something to show you. Do you know what these are? These are seeds. They are flower seeds: seeds from sunflowers, poppies, marigolds, lavender and coneflowers. You know how these work? We plant them in the ground and they sprout and grow and make flowers. But it doesn’t happen just like that. (snap fingers) No. There has to be a period of quiet, and for these seeds, a period of darkness in the ground. And then, the seed exists no more; it is transformed into a sprout which grows and bursts forth from the dirt and grows into a plant and eventually blooms.
It is hard to wait…but the seeds need the quiet…they need the darkness…they need to stop being seeds so they can be transformed into something greater.

In our Bible story today, Jesus explains this miraculous process. But once again, Jesus is not talking about plants to talk about plants. Jesus is talking about His death and His Easter resurrection. We have a hard time talking about Jesus dying on the cross. We want to skip right to the joyous Easter. But we can’t have the resurrection without the darkness. We can’t have flowers without the seeds ceasing to be. We can’t open the box containing that word without packing that word away.

It is hard to hold both this darkness and this light at one time. But in this season of Lent, in these last few weeks of winter, Jesus calls us to keep focussing on God’s glory, to keep following Jesus, to keep serving the Lord. And then, our lives will blossom forever.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You for seeds.
Thank You for the dark
that helps the seeds.
Thank You for Easter.
Help me
to keep following,
to keep serving,
to keep watching
Your glory.

We are not Christians alone. My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

I wonder what you think of this story?

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