Jesus says in the Gospel lesson for Holy Cross Day (Holy Cross Day is September 15) “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit.”
We grew oats on our dairy farm where I grew up. On threshing day (we called it “thrashing day”) after the oats was separated from the stalk in the “thrashing machine” it flowed into sacks and we took it over to Elsie and August Becker’s farm and put it in the grain bin. We didn’t have a bin on our farm. Throughout the winter the grain was taken to town where it was ground into cow feed. However, one day in the spring several sacks were taken to the feed store, not to be ground up but to be fed into a fanning mill where the chaff was blown off the seeds. This grain was then poured into the boxes on the grain drill and planted for the harvest later in the summer. As long as the grain sat in my uncle and aunt’s grain bin it didn’t grow. However, once in the ground it would soon sprout, in order for that to happen, the grain seed needed to give itself up to the new growth.
When Philip and Andrew (John 12:20-26) brought word to Jesus that some Greeks wanted to see him, this was the signal that it was time for him to go to the cross and die. And by giving himself up, having very life winnowed from his body, he would be planted in the ground and in his rising would produce a huge harvest. Followers of Christ are part of that growing harvest which will keep unto eternal life. However, it means following Jesus. And when we follow Jesus we too will go to our cross, for that is where Jesus said his time of glorification began.