Friday, March 9
Hating the Old Self to Become New
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
A few years ago, a youth director I know prepared a children's sermon for Easter. She brought in a can of live worms. It was kind of awesome! She explained that there are some worms that, if you cut them in half, will grow their other half back again. She explained that these worms had the ability to recreate themselves -- new life. (Thankfully, these weren't those kind of worms, so she didn't cut them up -- whew!)
We don't have the ability to regrow body parts, but we do have it within us to die to the old self and be re-created anew. The first step to letting our old (sinful, selfish, drawn to the flesh) selves die is to hate our old selves. Why change if we are perfectly content with who we are? We have to be at least uncomfortable, if not downright disgusted with the muck and mess of our sinful selves if we ever stand a chance of change. Only then can we begin the arduous journey of letting the old self (habits, attitudes, language) die. Then we can begin the miraculous and beautiful journey of being reborn into something brand new. Then we can love the new self that arises in its place.
Narrative Lectionary Text: John 12:20-26
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 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. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor."