Friday, March 23, 2012

"We Wish to See Jesus"

It wouldn't be a problem, if it weren't for the early spring around here.  I mean, I know that spring has, literally, sprung.  Spring was March 20.  But here in Minnesota, March 20 is usually just a day, a day when we are often still covered with snow, and expecting more.  But most of last week, the week before spring, the weather around here was up in the 70s.  And I've been noticing that, much earlier than usual, there have been buds on even leaves on some of the bushes and trees.  There is a magnolia outside our church that is blooming, at least a month early.

Except in our yard, it's not happening.  We had some new work in our yard last fall, which was really exciting.  We got some new, beautiful bushes, which we watered carefully every day for what seemed like a long time until we were given permission to stop.  They're all dead now.  At least they look dead.  I've been watching them, over the last week or so, worried about whether or not they were going to come back. As I said, I don't think it would be a problem, if it were not for the early spring around here.  I wouldn't be watching already.  But now I'm worried, so I sent an email to our landscaper asking him about our new plants.  Of course, he told me not to worry.  He said that everything would be all right.  Everything comes up at its own rate.  I emailed him back.  Are you sure? I asked.  They look dead to me.  He emailed me back again.  They only look dead.  I felt like he was saying, "trust me."  But I want to see those new buds, however tiny.  I want to see that new growth appear. 

"Sir, we wish to see Jesus."  It was nearing the Passover, and some Greeks came up to Philip and said these words.  I don't know who these Greeks were.  They may have been Jewish people who lived in the Greek-speaking world; they may have been Greek converts to Judaism.  But whoever they were, they were curious.  They wanted to meet Jesus.  I can only imagine that they had heard stories about him -- stories perhaps about how he fed thousands, or healed a blind man or, most recently, raised a man named Lazarus from the dead.  They had heard the buzz, and they wanted to see for themselves.  And I can't say that I blame them.  Staring every day at the dead branches in the bushes of my house, I want to see life. 

So what does Jesus say?  He tells them, "Unless a seeds falls to earth and dies, it remains alone.  But if it dies, it bears much fruit."  He points to the earth where the seed has disappeared, and says, "trust me."

To be continued....

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