“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.” John 12:24
These springtime days in Mississippi are constant reminders of life that comes after death. Looking around our gardens we see blooming redbud, dogwood, spirea, iris, spring phlox and other cherished flora that are now bursting forth in a full array of splendor. It is as if they are shouting, “Hello, I am alive!” It is hard to believe that just a few weeks ago they were merely stems that appeared to be dead – having no life at all. Some were even nonexistent as they were hidden in the darkness of the earth.
As a gardener, I understand fully the theme of this selected passage that reminds us of the cycle of death and rebirth. Year after year we see this cycle take place and in the cold and darkness of winter it is sometimes hard to remember that there is a “spring that waits to be.”
Holy Saturday, the last of the Great Three Days, is the last day of this long ashen season of Lent where we have been invited for forty days to die to ourselves, so that we might burst forth on Easter as faithful witnesses and disciple makers. So, hold fast, dear friends. Remember that tomorrow we shall arise from these days of penitence and we shall shout, “He is not dead, He is Alive!”
Hymn of Promise
In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
(Natalie Sleeth, UM Hymnal)
HOLY SATURDAY PRAYER
Merciful and ever living God, Creator of heaven and earth.
The crucified body of your Son was laid in the tomb
and rested on this holy day.
Grant that we may await with Him the dawning of the third day
and rise in newness of life, through Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen
(The Book of Common Prayer, U.S.A., 20th Century, ALT)
Rev. Rusty Keen, District Superintendent, Greenwood District