"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." JOHN 12:24 (NRSV
This past week as I prepared for a funeral the passage above came to the forefront of my mind. Most of us think of this passage as a scripture when we die or someone passes. However, with Jesus' teachings and the Holy Spirit's guidance could this passage be about our life today?
Could this passage be talking about our dying to self. When we do this it also makes us die to our neighbor. At first this seems quite disturbing to a modern mind. But when we give it a closer look we can see that in order to be of service to others we have to die to them; that is, we have to give up measuring our meaning and value with the yardstick of others. To die to our neighbors means to stop judging them, to stop evaluating them, and thus to become free to be compassionate, loving and part of growing God's Kingdom. Fruits of the Spirit can never coexist with judgment because judgment creates the distance, the separation, that prevents us from really being with the other.
May we all die to ourselves so we, the single grain of life blossom into the fruit of God's love. Hope to see you later today as we celebrate "freedom" in Christ. Pastor Carl
Loving Lord, Father of all creation we turn to you this morning and ask for the comfort of the Holy Spirit to be upon our sister Alyson. Keep her safe oh Lord, as she mourns her husband's death. Father, be with us all as we journey through this life looking to the day that we too join our brother's and sister's in Your kingdom. Lord, I ask for prayers for my family. I pray for those who are struggling with their faith and Your presence. Lord be with those in need today and help guide me to where I need to be. Lord, forgive me of my sins and lead me not into temptation as I prepare to deliver to your people the words that you have laid upon me. God, may you bless this nation as we celebrate our independence this week. Lord, I pray this in Your Son's name, Amen
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006