Search

SEARCH

Dr. Shield's Blog

The Hour

"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."  (John 12:23-26)  

The "hour" of Jesus "glorification" is his death on the cross. This is a paradox. In this world we tend to think of "glory" in terms of attaining great success or fame, winning the game or the battle or the election, having everyone admire or adore us.   

God's great work of salvation in Christ moves in an entirely different direction. The Passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus comprise the "hour" of Jesus' glorification -- his self-emptying gift of himself on behalf of you and me.  The gift of Jesus' life is supremely God's gift of sacrificial love for us.    

When we accept God's gift of love in Christ, when we surrender to grace and begin to follow Jesus, then our own lives are drawn in to the mystery of Jesus' "glorification."  At first Jesus' words may sound very harsh:  "Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life."  

In the context of John 12, "to hate" does not mean to have unloving or angry thoughts toward oneself. To "hate one's life" means to let go of everything that impedes you from following Jesus; to let go of our attachment to all of our little "self-glorification" projects; to turn away from those motivations that are about staying in control or seeing myself as the center of value. To "love one's life" in these ways is to lose the life that Jesus died to give us -- eternal life.  

As we approach Holy Week and Easter, Jesus is inviting you and me to receive the astonishing gift of God's love in the Passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Son of Man.  And then he is inviting us to follow him into the mystery and paradox of living toward eternal life. "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."  

Grace and peace,

Bob Shield

Posted by Jennifer Robertson at 8:29 AM