Thoughts on John 12:30-33

As some of you know, I’ve been in the field of education for most of my life.  I’ve taught students in kinder through the eighth grade, as well as adults during ESL classes.  I have found something special in working with each of these various age groups, but nothing beats the wonder that can be witnessed when working in the early childhood grades.  One of the activities that triggers such wonder is seed germination.  Many of you may recall the classic classroom experiment, in which you planted beans and witnessed the germination process.  If you had a healthy seed, along with the proper conditions of moisture, warmth, rich soil, and sunlight, you would witness a seed go through the process of germination.  Roots would slowly break through the seed’s coat, before the embryo plant emerged as a seedling and slowly developed into a mature plant.  This may seem like nothing to experienced gardeners like some of you, but it’s nothing less than miraculous to young children!

Jen's Birthday Card
Martha Stewart Glittered Paper Button; Tim Holtz Tattered Flowers Die. Distress ink pads, & Vintage Ticket tissue tape; Vintage Camper Die; EK Success Circle Punch; Pentel Brush Pen; Baker's Twine; and Label sticker
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - A Little Sparkle

In verses 23-25 of today’s gospel, which are an introduction to the Passion, Jesus says, “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.”  What is Jesus trying to tell us?  Are we to forget everything we learned about germination in our early years of schooling?  No, Jesus was not trying to change our knowledge of germination, but speaking in parables as he often did.  He’s telling us that if we live in his love, we will enter into eternal life, but if we hate, we will end in damnation.  Remember what he said in Matthew 22:34-40, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Wedding Card for the Wenzel Couple
Tim Holtz Tea Time & Ticket dies, as well as French Script embossing folder, Tiny Attacher stapler, Music tissue tape, & Distress ink pads; Martha Stewart Heart Punch; Marvy calligraphy marker; Dymo Label Maker; and Twine Cord
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Use a Die or Punch

In verse 26 of today’s Gospel, Jesus goes on to say, “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also.  Whoever serves me, the father will honor.”  Then, in verses 31-32 he says, “Now is the judgement 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.”  Jesus is obviously talking about his upcoming crucifixion, and how he, the ruler of this world, will become the sacrificial lamb for our sins.  All those whom follow him, will be saved, and God the Father will honor the sacrifice of Jesus as the atonement for our sins.  There is a correlation between what Jesus is saying and the reading from Jeremiah, in verses 33-34, regarding the renewal of the Covenant with his people - US!  The Lord says, “I will put my law (teachings) within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people… I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.”

Naomi's Graduation Card
Fiskars Tag Maker with eyelet setter and Advantedge Punch System; Tim Holtz Scroll Stamp; Ranger alcohol inks & Archival Ink pad; Higgins Black Magic brush marker; Jolly Exakt micron pen; Winsor & Newton Watercolors; Prismacolor colored pencils; Uniball Signo white ink pen; green scrap eyelet, ribbon and twine
Word Art Wednesday - Anything Goes #344 & #345

In other words, we could interpret today’s Gospel as a parallel of the change that Jesus’s ministry brought to the world.  The people of Israel had become entangled in what seemed to be a plethora of rules and regulations.  Yes, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, which remain fundamental throughout the Old Testament, the new testament, and even today.  However, just like with any other human community, various interpretations came to be thought of as prerequisites to salvation.  Therefore, the people in the time of Jesus had become more concerned with the mechanics of worldly living, instead of focusing on the Spirit.  Jesus’s message was that God’s new covenant was for ALL people, and in the simple concept of loving God above all and each other as he loved us.  If we follow this simple concept, we can find life everlasting.  YES, “All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Psalm 51:1 Art Journal Page
Windsor & Newton Watercolors; Unibal Air Pen; Martha Stewart calligraphy pen
Art Journal Journey - Art for Art's Sake
What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - #476
Paint Party Friday - Week 20 Year 8

Therefore, we need to “bloom where we are planted,” just like those seeds many of us grew in our early years in school.  We may not always have nutrient rich ground to grow, as those little seeds we may have planted in school.  Life is not easy, and it is filled with all kinds of challenges, troubles and tribulations for us to overcome.  We may also fall into sin along the way.  (Yes, some of us more than others!)  We are all human… even though we may falsely think we are perfect.  Just remember, that is why Jesus died for our sins.  He was the sacrificial lamb who died as the atonement of our sins.  Above all, love the Lord, our Creator, Savior and Redeemer, as well as love your neighbor as yourself.  In a nutshell, the point of today’s Gospel and readings can be summarized in this quote I found in the New Oxford Annotated Bible regarding today’s Gospel, “True followers serve Jesus and share his relationship with God, who honors them.”  Amen.

Abide In Me and I In You
iPhone 7s Photograph
Inspire Me Monday #341


Lindart said…
Beautiful graduation card for Naomi! The wedding card is also very cool! All the cards actually are very nice. I love the masculine viewpoint of your cards! Thanks for your visit, and have a great week! Lindart #29
Hi Arnoldo, it's lovely to read your thoughts about education. I have great memories of my time teaching and some of my happiest were as a Head of Year dealing with children who had been unlucky in life though they were sometimes difficult it was so satisfying when you helped them turn their life round. Hope you have a great summer with lots of happy family time. Wishing you a lovely creative week and a happy woyww, Angela x11x
Gail said…
Praise the Lord ~ Thank you for dropping off your lovely art at WAW this challenge - we hope you will come back again - have a blessed day - Guest Designer for July, Gail Scott - enjoying the fun ride!
sheila 77 said…
Hello Arnoldo, it's so good seeing you blogging again, I've missed you.
These are lovely and meaningful words with lots to think about, thanks for that.
It's great to see your art again. I do like the happy caravan on its journey.
Such special thoughts on education and your art always amazes me! All cards are so utterly beautiful made and your Journal page is simply wonderful - such a free watercolour style and your handwriting is just so perfect! Thank you for joining us over at Art Journal Journey again! Much appreciated!
Sue said…
Beautiful cards.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. You didn't leave your number, which is 34.

Sue #6
Sarah Brennan said…
Hi Arnoldo, I do love the variety and layouts of your cards, especially the use of kraft card as a base for some of them. The hessian makes such lovely texture too. Have a great week. Sarah #15
Thanks for popping over and saying hi Arnoldo, I was interested in your post and as you say looking to Jesus and follow Him through faith alone is the key, He is our Living example as well as our Living Saviour.
Love the cards especially the cute caravan card and graduation card, wonderful also is your verse inscribed at end. I’ve spent last fortnight doing my Illuminated calligraphy but can’t share as folks see my blog. Have lots of orders waiting for me in verses too, it’s just they take so long.
Thanks for sharing your inspiration! Happy belated WOYWW
Shaz in Oz.x #32

{Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}
Your cards are lovely - I love the caravan especially! I love the sketch and the beautiful lettering on the journal page and I am so pleased that this is for my Art For Arts sake theme at Art Journal Journey! It is always good to read your words and the last paragraph in particular is an excellent summing up! Have a great weekend! Chrisx
Shoshi said…
A beautiful post, Arnoldo, and beautifully illustrated by your lovely artwork. Thank you for your visit - nice to see you again! I'm glad my cooking efforts were good enough to whet your appetite! As for the paint daubers, once I get the right foam wedges, I am sure the project will work OK. They will be great to use.

Happy belated WOYWW,
Shoshi #32
Sharon Madson said…
Wonderful post! We just had our sermon Sunday out of Matthew on the parrable of the four soils. So, good! Anyway, related. I love the way you weave the word of God through your posts. Thank you for sharing your thoughts as well as your beautiful art! #37
Kath Stewart said…
amazing cards and that funky trailer is just adorable, thank you so much for sharing with us at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, hugs kath xxx
Valerie-Jael said…
Lots of beautiful art. I especially love the comet. Happy PPF, Valerie
Irene Rafael said…
Hello Arnoldo, Reading your post today gave me a sense of peace. Your words and art pieces are inspiring because your spirit shines through. I am glad you have found some time to share here today.
Christine said…
Lovely work for the challenges Arnoldo, always so glad to see you here!
SLScheibe said…
That's a beautiful set of cards! Really lovely. I so love the trailer. It's adorable and so nicely done. :)
sirkkis said…
You have such a charming style on your cards. Love everyone. Thank you for the wise words, Arnoldo.
Happy PPF and weekend 🌸
Susan said…
I taught as well. I must say that teaching ESL was the most rewarding experience. They knew what they needed and would go to any ends to achieve it (as quickly as possible) and English is not an easy language.
Your cards are lovely! Happy PPF
Linda Kunsman said…
what a beautifully written post Arnoldo. Your cards are all super each given special details for the recipients. I love your illustration in your art journal page! Happy PPF!
JFM said…
Beautiful art and post. Thank you for sharing the word~
denthe said…
You made some beautiful cards Arnoldo! I used to plant all kinds of things when I was a kid, and it was so wonderful whenever it came through the soil. I still think it's miraculous ... Happy PPF!
Your words are so true Arnoldo there is a priceless innocence in young children when educating them and I myself working within early years would use the seasons to promote this. Watching their faces bloom just like the germination of seeds was a marvellous way to explore and explain visually how it all works.
You art work is amazing as well as your words. Happy PPF.
Creative Blessings Tracey
DVArtist said…
It is so nice that you can just create one of a kind, beautiful cards for the girls. Thank you for the lovely post too.
Such a moving, Spirit-filled post! Loved your shares. Loved also your wonderful cards...very special for each person! And your journal page is lovely!
Gillena Cox said…
Those teacups are so adorable. My favourite this week

Little Artbee said…
Dear Arnoldo nice to meet you again at AJJ. Your artworks are so different and wonderful designed. I love them all.
Years ago I teached children in working with clay and I was astonished how much fantasy children have. They mostly needed only instructions how to handle the clay, the rest they could make themselves. It was a joy for me to see what they created.
Dear greetings and God bless you.
I apologize for taking so long to check out this incredible journal page, along with your other beautiful art. Not only is it uplifting, sharing it with us at Art Journal Journey makes it equally so.
Such a beautiful parallel with the germinating seeds on so many levels! Loving your cards and journal page - and what a clever way to take part in several challenges simultaneously with just one blog post - very efficient - I might have to try that! Thanks for your visit earlier Arnoldo - have a lovely Sunday! zsuzsa #9 through WOYWW.
Anne said…
The cards are so lovely. Enjoyed reading all your words. Thank you for visiting - apologies for being late. Anne x #3
Kim Hamilton said…
Such great cards! Thanks for joining us at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge :)
Such beautiful cards, and so diverse. I love your range of creativity!