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Let Go

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit
John 12:20-33

Sermon Topic Relinquishment

Sermon Week Fifth Sunday of Lent Cycle B

Scripture Summary John 12:24


A mother whose only son was preparing for college, wrote the following letter to the college president:

Dear Sir: My son has been accepted for admission to your college and soon he will be leaving me. I am writing to ask that you give your personal attention to the selection of his roommate. I want to be sure that his roommate is not the kind of person who uses foul language, or tells off-color jokes, smokes, drinks, or chases after girls. I hope you will understand why I am appealing to you directly. You see, this is the first time my son will be away from home, except for his three years in the Marines.

Nothing, apparently, could make that mother let go. Not even the United States Marines. But Jesus comes to us today telling us we've got to let go. In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus is trying to prepare His disciples for His death. They don't want to hear about it. They refuse to accept it. They cannot believe that He whom they had experienced as Lord of Life is going to be executed.

In order to help them understand, Jesus tells them a simple, beautiful little parable: "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit" (John 20:24). Jesus is telling them that His death is absolutely necessary if there is to be new life; that the great God who has sent Him as Lord of Life is a God who works through a process of death/resurrection; that this is the way God has chosen to bring new life into the world; that unless He dies, the fulfillment they have begun to feel in His Presence will not bear fruit.

The Apostles had to learn to let go on two levels. First, they had to learn to let go of Jesus' physical presence. Secondly they had to learn to let go of the desire to be in control. When Jesus told the disciples that He was going to be executed, Peter objected. He wanted [...]

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