April 14, 2021

Dying and Rising

by Dr. Oliver Wagner

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24
I grew up in farm country, beautiful farm country. The lands all around me turned seasonally from green to golden, then brown to snowy white. The lands turned from bare to tall, then back to bare again. The Easter hymn written by John Crum in the 1920s picks up the cycle of a farmer’s fields and the words of Jesus himself. He wrote,

Forth Christ came at Easter like the risen grain, he that for three days in the grave had lain; Raised from the dead, my living Lord is seen, Love is come again like wheat arising green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving or in pain, your touch can call us back to life again; Filed of our hearts that dead and bare have been: Love is come again like wheat arising green.

The good news of Jesus is not only good new FOR Jesus. It is good news FOR US. Because Christ died and rose ”love is come to us” and “our hearts are touched and changed.” He rises like “the green blades” of spring breaking through the soil. He rises…and by the miracle of faith and the grace of God…we rise with him to newness of life that only love can bring. 
By the power of love, change our wintry hearts and hopeless thoughts to the new possibilities of life springing all around and within us. Turn our tears to joy and our pain to peace, O God of the cross and empty tomb. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009
770-751-0033 www.alpharettapres.com