John 13:21-33, 36-38

March 31, 2015

Tuesday of Holy Week

Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. (John 13:31)

Root vegetables are some of the most challenging crops for a new gardener to harvest. Because you can’t easily tell then they are fully ripened, it’s easy to pull them up at the wrong time. Carrots, for instance, are supposed to be harvested after they produce a full plume of leaves. Yet there’s always that chance that this beautiful fountain of leafy stems is hiding a small, underformed carrot. Potatoes, on the other hand, are best harvested when it looks like the above-ground plant is dead. If you pull them out too soon, you can’t replant them. And if you wait too long, they will have gone bad. You have only one chance.

The night of the Last Supper posed a similar kind of confusion for the apostles. They saw all the signs that made them think that Jesus was about to take his place as King: cheers and palms upon their entry into Jerusalem, adoring crowds, and amazing miracles. With such powerful displays, they thought it was surely harvest time!

In the upper room, Jesus tried to show them the kind of king he was destined to become. He even tried to prepare them for their new roles in his kingdom. But then he started talking about leaving them and how they would not be able to follow him where he was going. It was all so baffling! His glory was so close, but they didn’t understand that he had to die first in order to take up his throne. So in their confusion, they made a few mistakes.

Imagine how Peter felt when, after denying Jesus three times, he heard the cock crow. Imagine how all the disciples felt at the Last Supper when they began arguing about who was the greatest in the kingdom.

We all make mistakes. Jesus understands that we are novice farmers. Today, remember that his grace can cover any of our blunders, and his harvest is rich in mercy and love. The miracle of Christianity is that quite often, we can undo our mistakes. We can replant something and still watch it grow!

“Lord, you know that I will sometimes make mistakes. Still, I thank you for always being willing to forgive me and for patiently teaching me how to prepare the best harvest.”

Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17