Embracing Transformation
Embracing Transformation

Embracing Transformation

Good Morning,

Welcome to your online worship from St. Mark’s for the fifth Sunday of Lent, March 17, 2024.

In today’s sermon on John 12:20-33, I point us to Jesus’ use of the metaphor of a grain of wheat to illustrate the transformative power of sacrifice and surrender. Through a real life story of redemption, we are reminded of the importance of confronting our brokenness and seeking to leave a legacy of love and compassion. As we journey through Lent, may we embrace the call to surrender to God’s will, trusting in the hope of Christ’s victory over darkness and the promise of abundant life.

And today, after the 10:30am service coffee hour, we have our last lenten “Faith Around The Table” faith study. The reflection questions that I include each week in this post have guided our discussions and I am hopeful that you will be inspired to continue to engage with these questions each week.

Today’s Opening Sentence

Anyone who serves me must follow me, says the Lord, and where I am, there shall my servant be also. – John 12.2

Today’s Reading – John 12:20-33

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.1

Your Online Message and Prayers

Click on the above image to view our online worship on YouTube.

Reflection questions for the week: 

  • Reflect on a time when you felt challenged to surrender your own desires or ambitions for the greater good. How did that experience impact your understanding of sacrifice and transformation?
  • Consider the legacy you hope to leave behind. What values or ideals do you want to be remembered for, and how do you currently live out those principles in your daily life?
  • Think about a situation where you experienced brokenness or suffering, either caused by yourself or others. How did that experience shape your perspective on the importance of acknowledging and confronting brokenness?
  • In what ways can you actively cultivate a sense of hope and anticipation in your life, even in the midst of challenges or uncertainty? How does the promise of abundant life in Christ inspire you to live with faithful purpose and intentionality?

A continued reminder that if you are at all uncomfortable being in-person for worship, or if you are not feeling well, please join us here online.

Thank you again for joining with your parish family in our online worship today.

Find out how you can support our ministry and good work in the community here.

God Bless you and have a blessed week. Be well!


The Rev’d Canon Rob Park

  1. Scripture quotation is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.