Prayer: Lord, by your death you brought salvation to us and glory to the Father. May we remember that even though we will eventually die and leave this earth, we will live forever in heaven with you. Amen.
Reading: John 12:20-26 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: We don’t really like to talk about death. We don’t always know the right things to say to comfort a grieving loved one. When the grandfather of two of my students recently passed away, I didn’t know what to say to them. I thought and thought about it, and finally wrote them each a very brief note on stationery.
In the Protestant Church, our symbols do not reflect death. We have an empty cross as opposed to a crucifix. We remember that Jesus died, but we focus on how he now lives forever in heaven.
In these Bible verses, Jesus reminds his disciples that a seed cannot grow until it dies. There can be no resurrection without a death. We cannot know Jesus without knowing death.
I recently saw this quote on Facebook: “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.” (Anne Bradstreet in Meditations Divine and Moral) In other words: There can be no resurrection without a death. And because of Jesus’ death we have life.
When I gave those sympathy notes to my students, the big brother thanked me and later in the day, when I saw the little brother and gave him his note, he got a little teary and said, “You’re the only teacher who would think to write me a note.”
Although I never received any training on grief support or how to help students deal with death, I think I did the right thing by acknowledging those students’ loss. And I think we all do the right thing when we remember Jesus’ sacrifice, his dying for us, and our life everlasting because of his death.
How have you been reassured that “winter is always followed by spring” and that “there can be no resurrection without a death?” --Christine Conz Moll, Camp Mount Luther Alumni Camper
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