Devotion: A Passion Week Pilgrimage- Holy Tuesday
April 7, 2020
Devotion provided by Rev. Bob Symanski
A Passion Week Pilgrimage
Holy Tuesday April 7, 2020
your love is poured out in death for our sakes.
Hold us in your embrace as we wait for Easter's dawn.
Comfort us with the promise that no power on earth,
not even death itself, can separate us from your love.
Scripture John 12.13–25 nrsv
Jesus [said], "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.
Among the essential claims of the Christian faith is that Jesus actually and truly dies. He does not exercise a divine prerogative to avoid the pain of death and merely go through a "sort-of-death" experience. Jesus literally dies as a result of crucifixion, so that he can fully confront death face-to-face, and so that his reappearance to many witnesses offers proof of his Resurrection and God’s supremacy over all forces of evil and death.
Jesus apparently alludes to himself metaphorically as this “grain of wheat” that falls into the earth and, through its death, bears much fruit. It’s the “fruit” Jesus is after: the blessings that are produced from his battle against death.
Jesus is intensely interested in life – life perfected and everlasting in heaven, and life whole and abundant here on earth. “Eternal life” refers not just to an endless duration in time but fullness – life which is satisfying, joyful; where we fulfill the particular purposes for which we were created; where humanity as a whole experiences shalom, peace.
Among the many things (I hope) we are learning in this COVID-19 pandemic is how important it is to our common survival that we live well together. It is vitally important that we share scarce resources, that we restrain our wants for the safety of others, that we each do our parts and fulfill our purposes – researchers developing cures, medical professionals treating the ill, truck drivers moving foods and supplies, police officers and firefighters keeping us safe, housekeepers and janitors keeping us clean and safe, farmers growing food … you get the idea.
Invitation to Prayer
- for those who have perished from COVID-19,
- and their families and friends who grieve for them;
- for everyone doing what God has created each of us for;
- for patience, strength, peace to endure the sacrifices we make for the safety and well-being of others;
- for the effectiveness of our efforts to slow disease spread, to treat the ill, and bring about the swiftest end to this pandemic;
- that life is not only preserved but valued and made whole.
How would you describe a “life being well-lived”?