And Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. "He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. "If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. John 12:23-26
I have always found there to be a great connection between Passion Week and the Spring season. Last fall seeds and leaves fell to the ground and the botanical world went dormant here in the Midwest. Yet all that fell to the Earth has nourished new life that springs forth in April and May. Indeed, my beloved and cherished purple flowers, which are a sign of God’s presence in my life, are only possible within this cycle of death and life.
And so it is with us. Perhaps we’ve felt a little dormant this winter. But perhaps in that dormancy God was nourishing us with His Word and preparing us for a season of regeneration. I believe the time is now for us to have a ‘growth spurt’ in faithfulness. May we truly draw near to Him so that we might manifest His hope, peace, and joy in such a way that it is even more radiant that His purple flowers. Indeed, Christ died not so that we be dormant…but that we bring Him glory in our new life.
So during this Lenten season, may we truly appreciate the newness of life that we have in Christ. It is a newness that creates in us a clean heart and renews in us a right spirit…a spirit primed for growing in faith. It is a newness of joy that must be shared in our Christian witness. As Jesus rose from the grave, so to do we rise out of our bondage and spring forth with the Fruit of His Spirit.
-- Pastor Justin
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