Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Tuesday in Holy Week 2021


Have you sown any seeds this year? My house is rapidly turning into a greenhouse (the actual greenhouse is already full of stuff!) I've got kale, broccoli, and a host of flower seeds all sprouting up on windowsills and my tomato plants are a good 4 inches high. To be honest, I probably sowed the tomatoes rather early, but there comes a point in the early part of the year when I know I just need to start growing something, as a reminder to me that spring and summer really will come, however cold it is at that point.

There's something miraculous about seeing a tiny shoot emerge from a seed that looks like a speck of dirt, buried in the bare earth. It looks dead, but it's full of life. That's the image Jesus uses when he talks abotu his own impending death in today's reading. In John's Gospel, the death of Jesus is often referred to as his "glorification", turning what looks like a disastrous failure into the moment when God's love is most clearly shown. The story doesn't tell us what the Greeks who hoped to see Jesus wanted to ask him, but it sounds as if they were hoping to meet with a great leader or guru, not a man who was heading for a squalid death. Jesus' message to them, via Philip and Andrew, is that it is in this death, this moment when hope, love and life itself will seem to have been snuffed out, buried in the grave, that will be the beginning of hope, love and life that are eternal. Jesus' death will bear fruit that will last for ever and spread around the world. His followers need not cling to what we have fearfully. We can afford to live generously, because as fast as we give away God's love, more will grow and bear fruit.

John 12.20-26

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.

Questions to ponder

  • Take some time to look around at the life sprouting up from the bare earth - even if it is just weeds! Thank God for the irrepressible force of life around us. 
  • Have you had the experience of good things growing from times that felt bleak and difficult?

Join us tonight for our podcast service of Compline
You can find the podcast here. There is also a service of Compline in church at 8pm
Service sheet

The reading tonight is John 12.20-26 (see above)

You might like to find a candle to use through the week, if you have one.

You might also like to listen to the YouTube clips below before you start the podcast, or some other music you have which you like.


Do some gardening - indoors if you like. If you haven't got any seeds,, look for some seedheads in the garden or out on a walk - grass seed heads would do fine - and sow those on some damp kitchen towel. Or you could cut the tops off some carrots or parsnips, or the bottom off an onion - the bit with the roots on, and stand them in a shallow tray or saucer of water and see what happens. (There are more ideas on today's pinterest board )

Make a picture using leaves, seeds, stems etc.

Look out for the signs of spring around you on a walk, or from a window - even if it is just weeds growing in a crack in the pavement!

Check out the other suggestions on today's Pinterest board

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