Here’s my question: What troubles your soul today? What is the hour from which you want to be saved?
Now before you answer, let me explain what I am asking about. I’m asking about more than just something that upset you or didn’t go your way. I am asking about more than an inconvenience, interruption, or a disappointment. I am asking about those things, events, experiences that shake you to the core. I am asking about those hours that terrify you.
I am talking about those memories, thoughts, feelings, or fears that never go away. No matter how hard you try you can’t wish, deny, or ignore them away. They are the things that give you no rest and won’t let you go. They keep stirring up your insides. They hound you through the day and haunt you through the night. They are there when you fall asleep at night and when you wake in the morning. They just keep coming back, coming back, coming back. Continue reading What Troubles Your Soul? – A Sermon On John 12:20-36
When has your soul has been troubled? What troubles your soul today? What’s it like for you to recognize and feel your own weakness? Are you scared, embarrassed, ashamed? Do you feel inadequate, defective, vulnerable? What’s your prayer in those times, “Father save me from this hour?” Continue reading A Weak and Troubled Soul – A Sermon On John 12:20-36 For Tuesday In Holy Week
“Sir, we wish to see Jesus,” they said to Philip. It’s not an unusual request. I suspect most of us have said or thought it. Twice a week the children in our parish school sing, “Open our eyes Lord, we want to see Jesus.”
I wonder, however, if the visitors who came to Philip had any idea what they were asking. I wonder if we know what we are asking? It seems a simple enough request, but Jesus’ response is anything but simple. I don’t know what answer Philip and Andrew expected but I’ll bet they did not expect to hear about death. It is probably not the answer we expect or want when we ask to see Jesus, but it is the answer Jesus gives.
“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.”
Somehow death and seeing Jesus are intimately related. To see Jesus is more than looking at him. It is more than just believing the things he said and did. We follow Christ as participants not spectators. If we want to see Jesus then we must learn to die. To the degree we avoid and deny death, we refuse to see Jesus. Continue reading “Dying to See Jesus, A Sermon on John 12:20-36”