Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Perfect love

Today’s Reading: John 12:23-25(NIV)

23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

Good morning!

After one sleepless night listening to the hail and high winds and torrential rain beating down on the parsonage roof, I awoke early and went outside to see if the plants I had just installed into the soil had survived the storm. To my delight, they were still there, even after the rains came. How do you survive the dark night of the soul, when the storms of life are raging?

I spent some time yesterday thinking about all of the families who lost their homes and businesses to tornadoes devastating many parts of the US Midwest region. I wondered about the 70,000 people lost in China’s earthquake, and those who are experiencing dire need for food and clean water in Myanmar. I prayed for the many men and women serving in our armed forces, defending our nation’s freedom and preserving the dignity of those who do not yet have the resources to defend themselves. Humanity’s need is great, no matter where we look today.

I remembered the millions who have gone on before us; those who paid the ultimate price for our country’s freedom. I couldn’t help but think about the war my father fought in. Two of my uncles were taken as prisoners of war during World War II and during the Korean conflict. One of them survived his personal terror and lived a long and happy life. My other uncle died young, suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome and mental illness after his return home from the war. I thought about his children; how they grew up without a father’s love to comfort and guide them.

The circle of life continues to perpetuate itself. I am experiencing the love of my third generation through the eyes of my own grandchildren. My father died twelve years ago. He never met his great grandchildren. Still, I can see him in the mirrored reflection of their young lives. He was just one man, with a wife and two daughters. Those daughters blessed him with four beautiful grandchildren to love, and now there are five great grandchildren to walk the path he forged for them.

Jesus understood humanity’s need for a perfect sacrifice through death and resurrection. He said that a kernel of wheat must die and fall to the ground before a new crop can arise from its ashes. If it lives on, it remains a single seed. In death, it produces a harvest crop of many. The disciples did not want to lose the Lord they loved – they were certainly not ready to let Jesus go. He knew it could only be through His ultimate sacrifice, that Christ would offer new life to the millions who would be have otherwise perished in their sin.

We celebrate our many memories, cherishing our loved ones who have gone on before us, and thanking them for the perpetuation of new life even in the midst of personal sacrifice. We thank the Lord Jesus Christ for His willingness to die for our sin, so that we may forever live in the light of His perfect love. It is this gift we cherish especially today, as we encounter the rolling storms clouds overhead.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO



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