new life

In the dreariest days of winter, we always know that spring is on the way. Even when there is no sign of growth, branches appear entirely lifeless, and it does not seem possible that plant life can ever grow again, we know that spring will come. Days get longer, the sun is warmer, and one day, we realize things are starting to grow. In my neighborhood, the first spring plants to show up are the snowdrops, covering a small area at the edge of the woods. Their tiny blooms are a sure sign that soon, new life will emerge. No matter how dreary and dead the world around us may seem, a transformation will come.

Jesus uses the image of a grain of wheat falling to the ground where it “dies” to talk to his followers about new life and abundant growth. The image would have been part of daily life, and Jesus uses it  to tell them  about his coming death and resurrection. Of course, the followers don’t quite understand what Jesus has said until they look back; after he is raised they remember what Jesus said to them.  Of course, resurrecting someone from the dead is unusual and surprising, yet God brings transformation and new life into the world every day.

When we encounter lost opportunities, broken hearts, struggling relationships, uncertain futures, failed attempts and other losses, God brings transformation and new life. When things seem entirely hopeless, God fills us and the moment with new beginnings. Like the first buds of spring, our hopes begin to grow with the promise of new life.  God who is the source of life itself, is active in the world and our lives, transforming what seems lost and dead into not just life, but unexpected abundance. We may not realize at first that the God of transformation is here with us, yet God is here with new beginnings and new life.



weekly prayer | Jesus talks about new life in John 12

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