Jeremiah 31:31-34; John 12:20-33
A year or two ago someone gave me an amaryllis bulb. It came in a box with some instructions to make it blossom. It was a lovely bloom for a while. I trimmed off the dead flower and left the stalk and leaves to put nourishment back into the bulb. Then, it went into the garage where I forgot about it.
But I did find this: My amaryllis was beginning to grow. I gave it some water and some plant food. However, the leaves are sagging and the bulb looks pretty empty, so I don’t know if it will have enough energy to bloom.
You see, when a seed is planted, all the parts of the seed are used. The husk protects it until it is exposed to water and sunlight. The part that grows, the embryo, is a tiny portion of the seed itself. Much of the seed is food for the plant which will produce first roots and then leaves.
For whatever reason, they want to see Jesus, up-close and in person. Philip goes to his brother Andrew, and together they approach Jesus. “Some Greeks want to see you.” The text never does tell us whether Jesus meets with the Greeks or not. Instead, the story continues with Jesus’ message.
In contrast, in John’s Gospel, Jesus is looking forward to it. He is a seed ready to be planted so the fruit of eternal life can spread to reach all people. Jesus is excited to be planted in the earth so he can rise again. He is ready to be glorified, even though it will not be a pleasant experience.
Jesus considers this whole process as his glorification. God allows Jesus to be planted as a seed in order to raise him up to new life, and to give us a new life, eternal life.
I suggest that as you touch the packet of seeds you chose, you will imagine the seed of Jesus’ healing touch growing in your heart. This is not such a far-fetched idea. Centuries before Jesus, Jeremiah tells us that God promises to plant a new covenant in our hearts. So, the seed of God’s love is already and always there. It just needs soil, and water, and sunlight (in other words, a little of God’s Spirit) in order to grow, to produce fruit.
May these seeds become plants that become a blessing in your yard or garden or kitchen shelf. I hope that each time you see them, you are reminded of God’s love for you, and that you will find some healing and peace. Amen