During the season of Lent, my husband, Pastor Patrick Sipes, will be our guest blogger with a series of tactile meditations exploring Sunday’s Gospel text. He is currently serving as the transitional minister at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Platte, Nebraska, and will be inviting congregation members into these meditations in worship. May God bless you as you explore Scripture through Prayer.
For this reflection you will need a seed. If you will be doing some gardening this year, and have some seed already, one of your garden seeds would be perfect for this meditation, because your prayer will continue through the summer as that plant grows. If you aren’t planning a garden, really, any seed will work, a dry bean, a kernel of popcorn, a seed that you saved from a piece of fruit that you ate, and if you don’t have any of that, feel free to scavenge in your yard or at a local park for seeds that a tree may have dropped last fall.
We begin with a seed today because in the gospel, Jesus tells us that, “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.” So as we begin today, take your seed, place it in a cupped hand and gaze upon it. As you reflect upon your seed, consider its smallness, consider how vulnerable it is, consider the care it needs to be brought to a more vigorous state of livelihood. As you reflect on these things, bring into the space of your meditation, the places in your life that feel as if they are seeds, places where you feel small, places where you are vulnerable, places where you could use some more care. Take some time to let these things come to you. As these things and places come to you, ask Jesus for what you need to give the seeds in your life the potential for new growth.
As you continue to reflect on your seed, take your other hand and cover it up, as if planting it in the soil. Reflect on your seed and the potential that it has for growth, imagine it putting roots down, and then reaching for the sky. As your seed begins to grow, bring into the place of your meditation, the places in your life that would allow a seed to grow, where is the soil of your life good for putting down roots that will support and sustain a newly growing thing, where is there light, and space, and openness where things will not get crowded out. Take some time to see where good soil and good spaces are present in your life. As these spaces come to you, talk with Jesus about what might grow in that space.
Now as you reflect on your seed, lift it up and imagine your seed having grown to its fullest and come to bear fruit. What fruit has come of it, how much, and whom did it feed? Bring to the place of your meditation, that fruit you desire to bear in the world, and who you wish that fruit to feed. Take some time to explore the answers to these questions. As you find answers, bring them to Jesus, let him know what you desire to do to bear fruit, and ask him to help you see the way to do so.
As you leave this time of meditation, take your seed with you, return to it as you find it helpful and continue this time of prayer with Jesus as you look deeper into the seeds within you.
If you would like to explore this text as a family devotion, check out my post for Lent in a Dish 2021 on Family God Time: https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2021/03/18/lent-in-a-dish-2021-week-5-a-seed-dies-to-live/