Pollen Sunday

March 18, 2018

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

5th Sunday in Lent
Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 5:5-10, John 12:20-33

Listen here:

Gospel Text:

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 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. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

Living on Purpose

March 22, 2015

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

The 5th Sunday in Lent
Jeremiah 31:21-34; Hebrews 5:5-10; John 12:20-33

(Gospel text is provided at the bottom of this post)

Question-MarkIs it just me, or does this gospel lesson feel a little awkward? It starts with some Greeks telling Philip that they want to see Jesus. Philip then goes and gets his friend and fellow-disciple Andrew. The two of them then go and tell Jesus that some Greeks want to see him. That seems normal enough, I guess.

But then, instead of Jesus saying, “Great! Where are they? Let’s talk!,” Jesus goes into this whole thing about the Son of God having to be glorified, and a grain of wheat having to die, and losing one’s life to keep it… it’s really quite confusing! What is the gospel writer doing with this story?

Well, not unlike the turning over of the tables we talked about a couple of weeks ago, I think John is using this passage to reveal Jesus’ full awareness of his purpose. Even more, I think this story shows us that Andrew and Philip also understood and lived into their purpose.

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