Worship at Home for Sunday March 17 2024

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Fifth Sunday of Lent. This Sunday’s theme is Single Grains. A single grain does not do much, but if you plant a grain, it will grow and bear much fruit. May we all bear God’s fruit this Lent.

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church).

  • St. Patrick’s Day Potluck on Sunday, March 17 after church.
  • Wednesday Lenten Program March 20 at 6:30pm. The study will be The Grace of Les Misérables by Matt Rawle. Snacks will be served.
  • Pub Theology at Clancy’s in Rosebud at 6pm. Join us for food, fellowship, and discussion.
  • New Members’ Sunday on Palm Sunday, March 24
  • Youth to Sky Zone in March. Talk to Carol Nowack for more information.
  • The Dorcas would like to expand their membership to include more people (maybe both men and women) for social and service activities. Please see a Dorcas member about joining their wonderful group.


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Jeremiah 31:31-34 • Psalm 51:1-12 or Psalm 119:9-16 • Hebrews 5:5-10 • John 12:20-33

Sermon: Single Grains

Confession, I often purchase packets of seeds that I never plant. When I walk into a store in late winter/early spring and see the displays of seeds on the racks, I love to stand and look at all the pretty pictures on the cover of the seed packs. I will pick up a couple of packages of seeds and hold them in my hand as I spin the display rack around to look at even more pretty packets of seeds. The pictures on the packets are so pretty and promising. There are lovely flowers like zinnias and snap dragons. There is a promise of vegetables in summer like cucumbers, squash, and beans. Then there are the herbs that will make my meals zing with flavor. These seed packets are especially tempting at the dollar stores where they sell several packages for a dollar. I cannot resist buying the seeds only to put them on a counter or shelf waiting for me to plant them.

The promises of seeds are left to wither and never be born in the soil. How sad. What a waste of what could be. The promises of the packets are never born because they never leave their brightly colored packages. If seeds are never planted into dirt, they will never sprout, grow, and produce a harvest.

In John 12:24 Jesus says, “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.” Seeds need to be planted. Once planted a seed dies to being a seed but sprouts and grows into being so much more. One grain of wheat may be ground up and made into flour, but only a very tiny bit of flower. When that grain is planted, it will eventually grow into a whole stalk of grain producing more single grains to be planted and to eat.

The people for whom the Gospel of John was originally written struggled with the human or more specifically the fleshly nature of Jesus. Many of them wanted to skip straight to the Godly nature of Jesus. The concept that Jesus walked around in the flesh like you and me was troubling for them. The death of Jesus and Jesus’ time in the tomb did not align with the Jesus as God’s son. In this passage Jesus explains that through his time in the ground that God was doing so much more through him. That single grain grows to be so much more.

In John 12:25-26 Jesus continues by saying, “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.” Jesus implies that we must do the same and live our lives as servants of God. Not that we are all called to die on the cross, Jesus did that once and for all for us. No that we will allow ourselves to let go of the temptations and comforts of this life. To allow ourselves to be nurtured in God’s rich soil so that we might grow and produce fruit for the kingdom. In doing so, we will be granted eternal life in the next one.

Not that this world is not important. God did create this wonderful world in which we live. God did send Jesus to save it. Rather we are to let go of the powers and principals of this world to love Jesus. That we will not exploit others and God’s creation for our own gain. That we will serve others and Jesus so that God’s love might be multiplied and glorified and bare much fruit.

Prayer God plant me in your good soil so that I may grow in your love. May I bear your fruit and share it with a needy world. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list for a while, Mark’ s brother Billy, Delores W., Tyra, Freya, Vicki B., Barb Z., Jesse, Tammy. Jennifer, Richard, Tamara, John, Dixon’s great granddaughter, Ashlely and Cody, Garth, Linda, Tessa, Carl, Kimbra, Liz’s father, Dannie, Lathe, Marilyn, Kris, Lee Ann, Bob, Diane, Linda, Keetha, Carly, Mia (Good news, she is healing.), Brenda, David, Dave, Jeff, Bill & Kathleen, Bill with cancer, a student with a court date, Nancy and Pat, Son-in-law of friends for Diann K. who was in places where there is war. If you know of anyone who would like a prayer shawl, please let us know.

Thank you, God, for the gentle rain last week.