Losing Our Life

A reading for Wednesday, September 17, 2014: John 12:20-26.

It's perhaps the most counter-cultural of all ideas about the Christian faith. More than anything else, today's lesson from John should place us at odds with almost everything else we hear around us...

The message of our culture is self-preservation and social promotion. What's in it for me? How can I better my position versus your position? How do I compare with my competitors? From our earliest days in elementary school we are taught that someone in the class has to be first and someone has to be last, and we might just as well work hard to be best. Not the best we can be, but better than all the rest. That's how we get ahead and life is all about getting ahead.

But wait a minute. Jesus said, "Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life." Jesus said the goal of life was serving others and even giving one's life for the benefit of another. "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." The Christian life is different. Jesus died for all, and if we want to be with Jesus then that's where we have to be too.

The truth is we don't really know how to do this or even what losing our life really means. The truth is that it takes a lifetime to let go and to work to put self behind us. Praying, studying, serving, reflecting, all the while being supported by others trying to do the same. Repeating the cycle over and over, and over and over and over again until we have it only to realize that we don't really have it.

The Christian life puts us at odds with almost everything else we hear around us... but thanks be to God it puts us in the place where Jesus is. “Sir, we wish to see Jesus,” said the Greeks to the disciples. Jesus said, "Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also." The good news is that in the Christian life we serve Jesus so that we might be with Jesus... so that we too might see him.

Open our eyes, Lord
We want to see Jesus
To reach out and touch Him 
And say that we love Him
Open our ears, Lord
And help us to listen
Open our eyes, Lord
We want to see Jesus
-Open Our Eyes, Lord by Robert Cull


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