Waynedale United Methodist Church
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

Oct 2, 2016 Sermon

“Watering the Seed”
John 12:23 – 26
Ted Jansen  October 2, 2016  Waynedale UMC
 
1.)        I have some seed with me this morning but I can’t seem to get them to grow.  I am not sure what the problem is?   I hold them and look at them and talk to them.  I have them listen to music and let them enjoy the outdoors.  I am not sure why they are not growing? 
            Umm.  I must be doing something wrong.  I know that they can grow.  I am sure that they can grow.  What do I need to do to get them to grow? 
            Do you have any ideas?  It seems like I have run out of ideas.  Oh.  I need to plant them in dirt and make sure they have water.  You mean I have to let them go and never see them again?  I would miss them.  I have to bury them.  That will be a sad day for sure.  But if you are convinced that they will grow if that is what I need to do then I will do it.  
 
2.)        We read in John 12 that Jesus has entered Jerusalem.  It is what we call Holy Week, the final week of Jesus’ earthly life.  This is when His life will be seen in all its glory and power.  Those words are what Jesus expresses in John 12:23.  “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” 
            As we hear those words we think that what follows next will reveal and show the glory of God in His Son.  So, we tune into Jesus words and actions, because the Son will be glorified.  
Let me pause at this point and let us think about the word, “glorified.” 
 
3.)        When we think of a person being glorified I believe we think of the word amplified.   A person that has glory bestowed on them has an amplification of their words and image.  A person who we glorify has their actions, words, and image broadcast in louder, broader and greater ways.  When you think of a sports legend or someone who is a celebrity of sort.  There words and image are amplified.  They become “bigger than life.” 
            So, when we apply this understanding to Jesus being “glorified” we could think that Jesus is going to get His words and image proclaimed and promoted in public ways to a lot of people.  
 
4.)        When God thinks of being glorified I believe what is most important is the word multiplied.  God doesn’t really care about more sound and more image.  God wants more transformation and influence for the purposes of God.  God wants to multiply the work of Jesus so that change and new life can be a possibility each day for years and years. 
            How is God able to multiply His Kingdom as the Son of Man is glorified?  That question is answered with the words that Jesus spoke after the truth that the Son of Man will be glorified.      
 
5.)        Jesus said in John 23:24 these words, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”  A seed produces many seeds and fruit when it is planted.  When a seed dies it multiplies.    
            Jesus, as the rest of Holy Week unfolds dies a death on the cross and on the third day was raised out of the ground, like a seed that begins to grown and be born again.  The Son of Man indeed was glorified, but in a way we did not expect.    
 
6.)        When we plant seeds we create the potential for God to grow something.  If we don’t plant we don’t allow God to work.  The seeds of faith we plant are what Jesus did when He was here on earth.  Jesus planted all sorts of seeds when He was here on earth.  God multiplied those seeds that Jesus planted and new life was granted for many people.    
            Today we each have seeds, seeds of faith that can make something grow.  We have the seeds of faith called money, time, prayers, songs, skills.  We all have them in our lives right now.     
 
7.)        On October 16 we are going to offer our pledges to the Lord for 2017.  This will be a way for us to plant our seeds of faith for the coming year.  We will plant our financial commitment but we know that our time, skill, prayer, witness, service are all vital seeds that we plant as well. 
            I encourage each person to plant the seed of faith with our money by giving a tithe, giving 10% of income to the Lord through the Waynedale Church.  If you are not giving 10% I encourage you to aim for tithing and increase a few percent each year.    
            As you plant your seeds of faith you will be growing something for God. 
 
8.)        I have an apple.  This is a fresh apple that I bought a few days ago.  It is going to taste good when I eat it, or when you eat it.  Consider this aspect of eating an apple.  If each of us ate all the apples and did not do anything with the seeds we would not have any apples to enjoy for the future. 
            Someone who has an apple must take the seeds and plant them.  They must care for the seed and small plant and make sure they are growing.  When the trees grow they will be able to produce lots of apples for many years.  If all we did was eat there would eventually be no more apples.  Someone has to plant more seeds.     
            I looked on the internet and discovered how long it takes to produce an apple from a seed that you plant into the ground.  How long do you think it takes?  It would take between 6 – 8 years.  That is a long time for someone to care for this seed until another apple was produced.  We need to plant, nurture, care and get ready for fruit, even though it will take time and a lot of work.     
            But, we will have no apples if you don’t plant the seed. 
 
9.)        What kind of fruit would you like to see produced in the life of Waynedale United Methodist Church?  What are your dreams, your ideas, your hopes, and your vision for the future?  We need to plant the seeds of faith today and see how dreams come to fruition. 
            Did you know that in 2019 we will be celebrating 100 years of ministry?  100 years as a congregation, making disciples, and sharing the life and love of Jesus Christ. 
Rev Elzey was a man who had a God sized dream about a congregation.  Rev Elzey planted the seeds of growth in others God began this congregation 97 years ago.  It is time to give thanks for the growth of the many seeds of faith that were planted in the past and prepare to plant some new seeds, and perhaps we need to plant a big one for 2019! 
            As we consider the seed of faith that God has given us may we be excited to plant the seed and see how it will grow in 2017, 2018, 2019 and beyond.  Perhaps our seed of faith will be like an apple tree and what we plant will not produce anything until 2024. Something that will happen 8 years from now might bless many people.  
 
10.)      As we celebrate Communion remember that the bread we eat started as a seed that someone planted.  The juice we will taste started as a seed that someone planted. 
            God wants to plant something new inside of you.  God wants to plant forgiveness for your sins in your heart where you have made bad choices.  Jesus died on the cross so that our sins might be washed clean by His blood.  God wants to plant hope in you where you are discouraged.  With God all things are possible.  God wants to plant peace in you where life feels overwhelming and out of control. God’s peace can come amidst the storms of life.  God want to plant love in you where you don’t care.  We know that love can overcome anger, hate, and frustration.  God’s love can heal your relationship with family and friends.