Tuesday of Holy Week, March 26, 2013
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Isaiah 49:1-7, Psalm 71:1-14, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, and John 12:20-36
To the men who approached Philip about seeing Jesus, Jesus’ response was probably a head-scratcher. Some guys say, “We want to see Jesus,” and he replies, “The time has come for me to be glorified.” While Jesus’ response may seem a bit nutty, as usual he has a reason for saying what he said.
Jesus wanted his disciples to understand that the end was near. Jesus knew that by the end of the week, he would be crucified. He mentions this to the Twelve, and then says something else that catches our eye: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” (verse 24). In other words, we must be willing to die to self in order that we might be fruitful.
Take a moment to reflect on your self-denial. Do you die to self, or do your sins and bad habits hang on to life? Dying to self means to give up what you want and giving in to what God wants. Ask God to help you do that. His promise is that if we die to self, he is able to work in and through us. You may find the following prayer helpful:
O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.