20 Among the crowds traveling to Jerusalem were Greeks seeking to follow God and worship at the great feast. 21-22 Some of them came to Philip with an important request.
Greek Pilgrims (to Philip): Sir, we are hoping to meet Jesus.
Philip, a disciple from the Galilean village of Bethsaida, told Andrew that these Greeks wanted to see Jesus. Together Andrew and Philip approached Jesus to inform Him about the request.
Jesus (to Philip and Andrew): 23 The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth: unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains a solitary seed. But when it is planted, it produces in death a great harvest. 25 The one who loves this life will lose it, and the one who despises it in this world will have life forevermore.
John 12:20-25, The Voice Bible
Sometimes Jesus does not make sense!
Falling seeds, planting, loosing life to find it . . . it seems like a riddle sometimes. But as we look closer and begin to pay attention we can recognize that often our lives are the same way, filled with contradictions, tensions, and things that do not make sense.
If someone came to us today and asked to meet Jesus what would we tell them? Would we introduce them to the one that will soon die or to a savior of our own making? Which Jesus are we choosing to meet?
We can choose to meet a reflection of our perceived self. The self that we believe we can control, the one that seems to be easier, the one that promises us what we want to receive. The self that promises to provide us salvation and yet again and it again it fails to deliver.
We choose Easter bunnies, candy, and beautiful flowers. We choose commercials, window displays, and Facebook ads. We choose propaganda, blind eye, and navel gazing. We choose our love of this life as we know it, yet we hunger and long for more!
But today we can choose to meet Jesus. Meeting Jesus is messy, life shaking, and uncomfortable. Meeting Jesus means a willingness to be cross bearers with him. A willingness to die to self, to a God made in our image, to a savior that goes from celebration to celebration, to a Christian faith that is a reflection of our deepest prejudices, fears, and certainties.
Choosing to meet Jesus means finding life through death. A willingness to let go, to wear our opinions lightly, to becoming aware of our penchant to self-defeating behaviors, and to pay attention to the speck in our eye. It also means a willingness to let the seeds of Jesus life and death to easter in us, to blossom into love, forgiveness, compassion, and reconciliation.
What Jesus do we want to meet today? This week? Are we willing to loose our life? To live on death row? To live in the messiness of reconciling love?