The Loss-Gain Narrative of Easter

Posted: April 12, 2020 in god
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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.

John 12:24

Jesus said this predicting his death, but even further he was laying out the loss-gain narrative of the universe.

Loss becomes gain. One becomes many. A kind of ongoing death becomes a new kind of ongoing life. The loss-gain narrative in Christ is paralleled in nature.

The acorn enters a dark place of transformation in the soil so a new oak may live. It waits. It waits for a unique trigger-combination of temperature-moisture-light. It waits for the right time. In the scientific sense of the word, the seed doesn’t “die” — but its shell protects, its nutrients feed, its form sacrifices itself for the new embryonic oak it engenders. The seed is used up in this process for the success and survival of the new tree it propagates. Jesus refers to this metaphorically as a type of death, one He would experience.

Jesus was used up to nurture, feed and birth a new, fresh embryonic us. Scripture says at the right time – the kairos— he literally emptied himself — the kenosis — in a real sense into us. He literally poured life into us at Easter in the same way the acorn pours life into the new tree.

And then perhaps the most radical thing of all: He asked us to lose our lives for others as well. To follow the loss-gain model, we like Christ are to protect, feed and nurture others by pouring ourselves into them. This seems particularly relevant to Easter 2020. The world is sheltered in place, waiting, giving up freedoms, mobility, connections, resources in order to save lives. We are currently living Easter! We are letting go of life to give and save lives.

And we are waiting, for what’s next! What’s next?

It is a beginning that will be the end of a waiting, a loss that will birth a gain.

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