Blessing the Seed

posted Apr 5, 2019, 11:31 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Lenten greetings of peace be with you!

Perhaps it’s the grass that suddenly turned green on the lawn.

Or maybe it’s the tulip and grape hyacinth bulbs that I planted in the fall that have appeared.

Still yet, it might be that Holy Week is soon approaching that has me aware of the lessons of death and new life.

But really, I think it’s Jan Richardson’s work “Blessing the Seed,” based on John 12.24, that caused me to appreciate how a seed must die and remain dormant for a time in order for new life to be called forth — 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.

Blessing the Seed

I should tell you at the outset: this blessing will require you to do some work.

First you must simply let this blessing fall from your hand, as if it were a small thing you could easily let slip through your fingers, as if it were not most precious to you, as if your life did not depend on it.

Next you must trust that this blessing knows where it is going, that it understands the ways of the dark, that it is wise to seasons and to times.

Then—and I know this blessing has already asked much of you—it is to be hoped that you will rest and learn that something is at work when all seems still, seems dormant, seems dead.

I promise you this blessing has not abandoned you. I promise you this blessing is on its way back to you. I promise you—when you are least expecting it, when you have given up your last hope—this blessing will rise green and whole and new.

As I’ve been pondering this blessing during the week, I’ve been asking God what is most precious to which I cling, and which, I believe, my life depends on? What is it that we hold to, not letting it go to die, so that God may give us new life? Perhaps the most difficult part, once we release whatever it is we need to do, is to rest and be still, trusting God with whatever is needed for our spiritual nourishment. This is not just difficult, but can provoke fear in us. But, this “grain” must fall and die if we expect the blessing of transformation from death to life. The tulips bulbs had to be planted in the ground, not left in the bag, in order for the flowers to bloom.

Come this Sunday at 10:30 AM ready to release that which needs to die and be given new life. We have special music from our quartet — Diane Grady, Sarah Hanvey, Dan Pannebaker, and Izaak Thorpe — singing “Give Me Jesus” and “In Christ Alone.” Brian Kolins will accompany them on percussion. I will be preaching from John 12.1-8, the moment when Mary anoints Jesus’ feet, and my sermon title is A Needful Extravagance

One assurance Richardson’s blessing gives is that the very act of letting go of this something, and waiting for it to come back to us re-shaped, resurrected, and new is courageous. 

In fact, simply put, it is faith.

In gratitude for the joy of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,

Pastor Trish