Our lives seemed to be organised around seasons and times.
When I was at school in Ireland we used to have different terms. There was the football term, the rugby term, the cricket term and the athletics term.
Within this is the unofficial terms; marble term (you bring in marbles of all sizes), but by far the most popular was the conker season. You would grab a conker, splice it open (injuring your finger at the same time), drill a hole in it, put a shoelace through it and parade around with your pride and joy hoping that this one would be a king conker.
There is something else you can do with a conker. You can dig a hole, place the conker in, cover it over and if you are able to look after it you may get a conker tree growing.
It is that imagery that Jesus uses in the gospel.
unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
The context was odd though. Some greeks had come to Philip who went and told Andrew, who came to Jesus. They must have been full of excitement that someone beyond their Jewish community wanted to know Jesus.
Jesus’ response was not immediate! I have found often that Jesus does not answer straight away, he takes his time. Take for example the death and rising of Lazarus in John11
Jesus said that
“The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” (John 12:23)
It is in Lent that we reflect on ourselves and God. Passion tide is in Lent and we focus on His death and suffering on the cross.
Who wants to see a crucified Lord, a Christ in pain?
But to see Jesus fully we have to go through the journey. Through the pain and the suffering.
He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)
His response seems very wrong but He is pointing towards something else, towards His death. As we journey through Lent I pray we journey with Christ.