March 21, 2021

The Gospel

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 honor.

“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 judgment 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.

John 12:20-33 (

The Offering

From Heather Stephens


I wonder at what point in his life Jesus knew what the end of his story was going to be. Did the first breath he took here on earth include the knowledge of what his last breath would be?

As we grow up, there is an increasing amount of pressure to figure out what we are going to do with our lives. We are asked as a child what we want to be when we grow up. In high school, we start agonizing over what our college major will be or what other path we might take. A lot of us by the time we reach our thirties and forties still question whether we made the right lifetime career choice, feeling as if we somehow locked in our answer. We spend our entire life trying to figure out why were even here on this earth.

There is something comforting in thinking about Jesus knowing his purpose and the ending scene of his life. It would have told him when to seek out John the Baptist and why he needed to disappear into the wilderness before he started his ministry. It would have given him the courage to speak up and time to think about exactly what he wanted to say to the world. But it would have also put such a grief in his heart as he stared up at his mother, knowing that she would one day stare up at him.

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