Jesus said: “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.”

John 12:24


Contemplation Notes for Using this Devotional:

  • This passage from the Gospel Writer Called John reminds us that endings, hitting bottom, and/or letting go, are part of the life cycle that allows for regeneration and resurrection.
  • Jesus uses agrarian imagery his 1st century audience will understand.They know that a seed must split so the plant within its essence may spring forth, like an acorn with the potential to become a great oak.
  • Jesus also invites them to embrace their divine, Christ (anointed) nature, and to believe in their inner potential and power. Although some people call Jesus “savior,” he doesn’t say that he’s come to save them. He doesn’t try to rescue people or solve their problems for them.  Rather, he teaches that faith is the saving grace.  See, for example, Luke 8:48 and Mark 10:52, among others.
  • Furthermore, Jesus distinguishes among
    • sympathy, which says, “What a pity. Poor you”;
    • empathy, which says, “I feel your pain and I’ll embody it so you feel better”; and
    • compassion, which says, “I behold the divine as you and agree to be a loving presence with you.”
  • In her 1916 text, How I Used Truth, Homeopath and Metaphysician H. Emilie Cady teaches: “It is because God is . . . at the center [of the seed], working in the stillness, unseen, and not at all because of the fussy, noisy outside work that you and I do, that the seed comes forth into newness of life. Thus, it would seem that the dying, the failure, the going down of the old is a necessary step in all true salvation. Every person must go down until they strike their own level, their own self, before there can be any real growth.”
  • Demonstration is your evidence of how well your life works. You demonstrate your faith in yourself by recognizing your own potential and growing in your own best ways. Then you can encourage others to do the same.
  • You can let go and grow when you
    • Stop believing that you or others are broken.
    • Put on your own oxygen mask and take care of yourself first.
    • Establish healthy boundaries so you don’t overdo or overfunction.
    • Base your self-worth on your own accomplishments, not what you accomplish for others.
    • Listen actively by being present.
    • Avoid rescuing, giving unsolicited advice, or doing others’ work for them.
    • Recognize your own feelings of anxiety, upset, etc. without projecting them onto someone else.
    • Release your absolutes about what a “good life” or “better situation” is.
    • Encourage others’ strength, intuition, and wisdom so they discern what they need for their well-being.
    • Rejoice in your own progress and the progress others are experiencing.

Contemplation Questions:

As you reflect on your life and circumstances, ask yourself:

  • What am I doing for others that I’m not doing for myself?
    • List, word map, or illustrate all that you’re doing.
  • As I reflect on what I’m doing, what is
    • my responsibility?
      • List, word map, or illustrate your responsibility.
    • their responsibility?
      • List, word map, or illustrate their responsibility.
  • In what ways do I base my self-worth and/or find fulfillment only on what I do for others?
    • List, word map, or illustrate the ways.
  • When I ground myself in faith and let go, what are at least three (3) ways
    • I can grow?
      • List, word map, or illustrate as much as you imagine.
    • I can let others grow?
      • List, word map, or illustrate as much as you imagine.

As you work with this devotional, behold everyone as a divine child of God.  Know that you can develop your own potential, but you can’t make others develop theirs.  Neither can you do for them what they’re unwilling to do themselves.  Even if you judge something to be insufficient or inadequate, it may still feel comfortable for someone else.  So stay faithful, present, and compassionate.  Do your own growing and let others grow as they think best.  Who knows? They might notice what you do and try it, too.

© 2023 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.

Photo from Shutterstock by Jag_cz.

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