March 27, 2009

MARCH 27 – BEARING MUCH FRUIT

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By Rachel Gerber, apartment manager
SCRIPTURE: John 12:20-33 (NRSV) Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL: “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.” Death bearing new life — a mystery for sure. Even though Jesus was talking about his physical death, this passage makes me consider my own state of affairs. What needs to “die” in my life? What am I holding on to, out of fear, out of comfort, out of refusing to change, that is actually keeping me from living life at the fullest God intended for me? What is keeping me from bearing much fruit?

One quote that I have found to be very helpful is a quote from Marianne Williamson, which was read at Nelson Mandela’s 1994 Inaugural Address, that names our need for releasing well:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that almost frightens us.
We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There is nothing enlightening about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us;
It’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

We release not only for our sake, but for the sake of the world. We release so that fruit might bear abundantly, so that we might not only feed ourselves, but also feed others. And we feed others by allowing them to see us living fully out of the core of who we are — out of who God created us to be — and in turn, invite others to do the same.

———-

SCRIPTURE: John 12:20-33 (NRSV)

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 honour.

‘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 judgement 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.

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Comments (13)

  1. This was a timely and awesome phase, that was also quoted on the movie “Akee the bee.” Where she was an AA female who won the national spelling bee contest. This is very powerful and so enlightening for me today. God Bless you.

    Tommie March 27, 2009 |
  2. THank you Rachael for this very relfexion. What must I let die bout myself so I can be more fruitful – the question for the day. Pam

    Pam Harrison March 27, 2009 |
  3. Wonderful devotion!

    Doreen March 27, 2009 |
  4. Once again, the Lord has spoken to me through your sharing of the WORD. Thank you and the Lord bless you all.

    Eleanor March 27, 2009 |
  5. Thanks for your encouraging words.

    Faye Nyce March 27, 2009 |
  6. Thank you for your questions about “Who am I.” Good food for thought and reflection. Blessings on you for your thoughts and challenge.

    Mary K. Mishler March 27, 2009 |
  7. Thank you for such an inspiring reflection. If we don’t “let go” we can’t let God work in us…

    Maria March 27, 2009 |
  8. Thank you for the devotional. I caution folks to be careful with Marianne Williamson. She is a believer that we–you and me are God and that we must travel inward to release the light. Her view is not of the Sovereign God Jehovah but of a mystical “universal” God-being that lies within each of us without the personal Christ distinction/entity. Thank you.

    Bruce Greer March 27, 2009 |
  9. Rachel, when I finished your devotion, I said “wow. that was awesome” right aloud in my bedroom. We just started learning about the Apartheid movement in my African History course, and it ties in perfectly with my constant feeling that humbleness and selling yourself short are one in the same. Thank you for these reminders.

    Meghan Hoover March 27, 2009 |
  10. [I just reread my words and wanted to clarify that my mention of African history was to say why your devotion was ironically relevant to me. You also reminded me that I don't have to sell myself short to be what I consider "humble." I hope that makes more sense. Again, thanks.]

    Meghan Hoover March 27, 2009 |
  11. Dear Rachel ~

    Excellent job. This is so meaningful to me. I will echo what Meghan said – this reminds me that I don’t have to sell myself short to be what I consider humble (thanks, Meghan!) Nice work. I will probably print this out for my fridge :)

    Peace :)
    Dawn

    Dawn Cisek March 28, 2009 |
  12. I appreciate your understanding of the scripture, but your ‘quote’ does not reflect your views.
    The Glory of God goes far beyond ourselves. We were born to love and worship God. To give praise to the Creator of the whole universe and not praise to ourselves as the quote says.
    This has nothing to do with being humble.
    I have known some really great people who lived the life of humility and they were definitely no shrinking violets.
    They were strong and courageous individuals who loved living out call to love the Lord. Love your neighbor as yourself.
    I think we need to learn to see ourselves the way God sees us.
    We humans have failed miserably and are in great need of the salvation that the Christ of the Cross.
    We are denying the presence and the work of the Holy Spirit.
    We were born of the flesh and our need for salvation is so very great.
    Marianne W is suggesting that we become God ‘within us’. This is false, and we need to be very careful of this kind of teaching.

    Marr March 30, 2009 |