We’ve reached the 5th Sunday in Lent: 21 March 2021.
The Lectionary verses for this week are Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:1-12;
Hebrews 5:5-10; and John 12:20-33. The main text is the reading from John’s Gospel in which Jesus predicts his death.
Rev. Geoff McKee discusses Jesus as the Messiah he proved to be compared with the kind of superheroes with which we are familiar in our time and with the concept of “Messiah” the people in Jesus’ time would have had (which was very different to the Messiah they got in Jesus).
Jesus confounds all our expectations.
“I believe because Jesus fulfils none of my dreams, because He is in every respect the opposite of what He would be if I could have made Him in my own image.”W.H. Auden
The main Bible text for this week
John 12:20-33 (New International Version)
Jesus Predicts His Death
20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, 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. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.
27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince 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 show the kind of death he was going to die.
Video service of prayers, readings and a sermon
This hymn was written in 1882 by George Matheson, a Church of Scotland minister.
Whilst studying to become a minister, he started to go blind. When he told his fiancée of his diagnosis, she refused to marry him, which left him totally broken-hearted.
Some years later, on the eve of his sister’s wedding, he wrote “O love that will not let me go”.
He is quoted as saying the following: “It was the quickest bit of work I ever did in my life. I had the impression of having it dictated to me by some inward voice rather than of working it out myself ”
The hymn expresses that God’s love is always with us, through pain, suffering and loss. He will never let us go! John 3:16