MARCH 27 – BEARING MUCH FRUIT
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.