This is the scripture I turned to today. John 12: 23-26 Read with me: “Jesus replied, ‘Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels– a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” Here are the footnotes for these verses:

“This is a beautiful picture of the necessary sacrifice of Jesus. Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil, it will not become a blade of wheat producing many more seeds. Jesus had to die to pay the penalty for our sin, but also to show his power over death. His resurrection proves he has eternal life. Because Jesus is God, Jesus can give this same eternal life to all who believe in him. We must be so committed to living for Christ that we should ‘care nothing’ for our lives by comparison. This does not mean that we long to die or that we are careless or destructive with the life God has given, but that we are willing to die if doing so will glorify Christ. We must disown the tyrannical rule of our own self-centeredness. By laying aside our striving for advantage, security, and pleasure, we can serve God lovingly and freely. Releasing control of our lives and transferring control to Christ bring eternal life and genuine joy. Many believed that Jesus came fro the Jews only. But when Jesus said, ‘Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me,’ he was talking to these Greeks as well. No matter who the sincere seekers are, Jesus welcomes them. His message is for EVERYONE. Don’t allow social or racial differences to become barriers to the Good News. Take the Good News to ALL people.”

I am thinking we need an emotional and spiritual check-up to make sure we are healthy in our many differences. And, namely the ones our footnotes have mentioned, social and racial differences. As an RN nurse I understand what a physical check-up means, but do I really understand a spiritual check-up?

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