20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 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. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. 27 "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. 28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." 30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.
March 22, 2021 - Years ago, I would attend an annual event at Craigville Retreat Center on Cape Cod. It was a gathering for Educators from all around New England. One year, I was invited with my colleague to lead worship. We brought in a potter and throughout the three days we joined together to worship and become one Body in Christ. At first, we named our own humility in the form of clay. We let the cross filled with clay remind us of who we are. We are but Earthen Vessels. Our last day had us each adding our own piece to the cross as a sign of commitment. It was also a sign of claiming our gifts as people of the Way, as people of the new Covenant. And just like the Greeks who came to Jesus, we came from all around New England, and from across the aisle to join hands and become one in Christ. Each person chose their own piece to represent them. Each piece was a different shape and size, color, and texture. It was like all of us. When we were done, we stepped back and saw how beautiful the cross had become. Where once it was an empty cross filled with the clay of dust and death, it now was alive with resurrection. As we approach the cross in this season of Lent, may we be reminded of our own humility and of our own opportunity to shine for God. When we let the new covenant in our hearts speak – how can we not shine!