March 22, 2012

March 22: Lifted up

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By Sophia Metzger, assistant director of multicultural affairs
SCRIPTURE: John 12:20-33 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.
DEVOTIONAL:

“And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”

We anticipate with Jesus his “lifting up” – his being lifted up in a two-fold way: he will be lifted high upon a cross and lifted up to join God in heaven. The first way is awesomely terrifying and the second provokes a sense of longing in my heart. I truly do wish to see Jesus.

We hear a promise from Jesus: “I will draw everyone to myself.” If I believe this promise, I know my wish to see him will be fulfilled, and yet I wonder about the force of the draw of Jesus and its interplay with other forces of distraction at work in my heart and in the world.

My Lenten practices raise my awareness of my own impulses to self-indulgence and instant gratification. I often find myself wanting that which I want when I want it. This is the draw of distraction. Simultaneously, Lent provides a space to quiet myself and become attentive to the draw of Christ in my life.

PRAYER:
My Lord and my God, draw me ever deeper into your embrace.
Create in me a spirit that invites others to you.
You are first and last.
You are absence and presence.
Help me to see you.
Now and always.
Amen.

SCRIPTURE: John 12:20-33 (NRSV)
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 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. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. 27 “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. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

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Comments (6)

  1. I like the phrase, “the draw of Christ.” Thanks for some good thoughts this morning, Sophie.

    Judy Weaver March 22, 2012 |
  2. Sophia, I too want to work on the “draw of distraction” to replace it with the “draw of Christ”. That “draw of distraction” almost made me miss reading this devotion for today, as I think of all the “things” I need to get done this morning. Many of those things are by my own choosing because of the abundance of “stuff” I need to take care of. May I stop so much self-indulgence
    and focus on being drawn to Christ. thank you for the timely reminder.

    Betty March 22, 2012 |
  3. Thank you for sparking my thinking today, Sophie! It was lovely to find your words here today. May God lead you into a very special Easter celebration.
    Susan

    Susan Adams March 22, 2012 |
  4. Thanks for the words of the prayer, especially, “ever deeper into your embrace.”

    Elaine Kauffman March 22, 2012 |
  5. I especially appreciated the prayer you included in your meditation today.

    Rachel March 22, 2012 |
  6. I thank you Sophia for your thoughts. They are timely. I read them while keeping vigil with my mother and father in what seems to be her closing hours and maybe even his. They are both believers and hold Jesus dear. I am comforted in knowing that they will see Jesus as you desire to do. I join in that desire and find peace from it in this time of sorrow.

    Gary Coppedge March 24, 2012 |