Very truly I tell you, 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. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. -John 12:24-26 NRSV
What do you think it means to love or hate your life? Jesus certainly is not speaking about narcissism or some sort of self loathing. And I do not think that he is talking about self image or mental instability. He seems to be talking about denying ourselves and picking up our cross. In a sense this kind of seed planting is the only way to follow God.
Have you ever thought of self-denial as a way to plant a seed? Is it possible that our lives can be so much more when we serve others in this way? Could it be that this kind of death is synonymous with unconditional love? I wonder what kind of harvest could be reaped if we embraced this kind of seed sowing? Perhaps we can begin today with a solitary seed?
Teach us Lord to die to self in such a way that many seeds would be produced from a solitary seed.
... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.