Tuesday in Holy Week

Morning Prayer Readings: Psalm 6, 12; Jeremiah 15:10-21; Philippians 3:15-21; John 12:20-26

This little snippet of a story about some Gentiles who were part of the huge Passover crowd in Jerusalem marks the end of Jesus’ public ministry in the gospel of John.  Like everyone else, the folks identified only as “some Greeks” wanted to see this person who had turned water into wine, fed thousands with a few loaves of bread, raised a man from the dead, and ridden into town on a donkey, being cheered for as a king.  “Look, the world has gone after him!” exclaimed the Pharisees, and they were right.

It feels like a long, long way from the beginning of that public ministry, when Jesus beckoned to a few fishermen and invited them on a journey to new life.  “Come and see,” he said, not telling them what exactly it was that they should see, but keeping the possibilities for new life open and fresh.

On the other hand, it feels really familiar—even while this portion of Jesus’ story is concluding, even while the threatening tension is building around him, women and men are still drawn to the itinerant teacher who has augmented his teaching with signs and wonders.  What is it they want?  They don’t know exactly, but “We wish to see Jesus.”

Their response to Jesus’ “Come and see” is not too late, but their experience will be different.  Jesus says that the hour has come for him to be glorified, which means in John’s gospel his passion, death and resurrection.  What they will see will not be signs and wonders that draw a crowd, but an ignominious death that dispels a crowd.

And something else, we hope.  The promise in the invitation remains.  “Come and see.”  Come and see what happens when a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies.  Come and see what happens when an ignominious cross becomes the means of glory.  Come and see what happens when we let go of what has been holding us back from coming and seeing in the first place.

Like Ashley said, it’s Holy Week.  The liturgies are wonderfully strange and mysterious.  We invite you to enter into them.  “Come and see.”