Christ is the seed of God’s love in the world and it must be planted in the field of our hearts and lives if it is to bear any fruit.
This is a metaphor from an era where everyone could relate to where food and the daily bread came from – they knew their flour came from grinding up the kernels of wheat – they either had done it or watched someone do it – they didn’t buy the flour preprocessed – and even if they bought their daily bread from a baker they weren’t far removed from the process
The farmer’s however do not use all their seed to make flour – some is kept for planting the next year’s crop – Jesus in today’s Gospel is relating his life to that seed of God’s love – it needs be transformed so that more could come from it – Jesus was God’s best seed – and Jesus is asking us to also be seeds in the world – seeds of love to bear the fruit of Grace – if we are to hold back and not be willing to be the essence of new growth we will surely be ground up for a single meal
The seed we now know doesn’t die as much as it transforms – grows into a mature plant – inside it is the potential for another generation of seeds – in Christ there was the potential for another generation of love and grace to be born – but to do that Jesus needed to be transformed – the worship of God and our relationship with the divine needed to be transformed – Jesus who was leading a God centered life with either explicit consciousness as we see in John or in a more nuanced human way as we see in the other Gospels was aware of the probable outcome for the path he was on – he could see the sacrifice that was being asked of him and the potential that lay in his offering of himself.
Now in the Gospel of John we see Jesus portrayed in his most divine – we also see him in his most human – In John we see Jesus weep outside the tomb of Lazurus – in today’s Gospel we see Jesus as acknowledging a troubled soul – My soul is troubled he confessed all too humanly – and then he asks rhetorically to those around him – What should he do about that? – Ask God to spare him? – To respond to a vain plea of self service? – no Jesus reminds us how it is we get through situations which vex or trouble us – we get through them troubled – how do you get through a scary time – a frightening time – scared and afraid at times – Jesus tell us the truth of his human experience in John’s Gospel and gets past it through the strength of his faith
Faith we are taught transforms fear – it doesn’t take it away – faith transforms doubt – it transforms even death we are to see in coming days – and Jesus reminds us of that – if we hold onto our fear without faith the fear will cause us to lose the thing we are grasping – our lives – we need to acknowledge and move into and through the path ahead of us – follow the path that Jesus took – letting love of the stranger – love of each other rule our lives – make love matter more than the things we cling to – Jesus gave his all not just for those he knew or loved like brothers – many people have sacrificed themselves for the people they loved throughout history – No – Jesus tread the path he walked for people he never knew – for people who persecuted him – punished him – people who weren’t even born yet – he became the true seed of the divine in us so that we might blossom into a plant that bore a thousand other seeds – He did it with all the trepidation of a human young man – realizing that what he was doing would lead to his death – why?
Because as Jeremiah prophesied – a new covenant need to be written upon the hearts of the people – people came to know about God through the covenant between God and the descendants of Abraham – now a new relationship – a personal relationship needed to be forged – a covenant based upon forgiveness and compassions for our human frailties – a covenant written not into the Law but into our hearts – one that we can experience by loving each other – one that we can know by helping each other – a covenant where all will be welcome – where faith and hope will be the watch words not fear or division – the High Priest needed to be someone we could see in the least of us – so God gave us Jesus to be that seed – sacrificed – the troubled human Jesus who God glorifies every time we act in his name – every person loved – every slight forgiven in the name of Christ glorifies God and the sacrifice Jesus made – every food pantry filled – every person acknowledged and not marginalized – every meek person exalted – every justice served proves the prophesy of Jerimiah true – it proves the love God has for us and the wealth of the Kingdom come
Jesus told us this today in the words written by the author of the Gospel of John – the rule of the self-serving will end when we act with the love of Christ – this is the truth of the judgment which was to come – because of Jesus faith and our faith in him – the ways of righteousness are laid out for us – this was the kind of death Jesus was foreshadowing for us – a death which would show we no longer need to fear death – a death which would herald in the covenant of Love – the world ruled by grace not greed – at least in our own hearts and minds if we but let it in – this is the gift Jesus offered to those who followed him – the gift of peace and compassion – Let us this Lent reflect upon that – this life we lead isn’t about us – it is about us knowing and living as the seeds of divinity in the world – this Lent let us reflect upon the truth that God has written his word upon our hearts and he is glorified by our acceptance of his word in our hearts and minds – Let’s continue to plant this garden of Christ in this church on the hill and watch the fruit it will bear