from a tiny seed
to a tree, rent and flowing;
This year (2016) Good Friday falls on the 25th March – the day when traditional churches usually celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, remembering the angel Gabriel's appearance to Mary (Luke 1:26-38). Most Western churches move the Feast to avoid the clash with Holy Week, but I find the juxtaposition thought-provoking. Both the conception and the crucifixion of Jesus can be viewed as gestures of 'kenosis' – self-emptying, prompted by God's love for humankind:
…though he was in the form of God, [Jesus] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)I'm also reminded of a metaphor that Jesus uses to prepare his disciples for what lies ahead – both for himself, and also for them if they are sincere about following him:
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)
(Part 1 of a trio for Easter weekend. Part 2 is here, and Sunday's here!)
[Thumbnail image cc from the yes man on Flickr].