I have been thinking about Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed recently. Here’s what Jesus said:
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field.
It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants;
it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”
Matthew 13:31-32 NLT
The Kingdom of Heaven – the place where Jesus reigns, the place where we find ourselves in relationship with him – starts small. It starts humble. The smallest of all seeds. But it grows. It grows into great things which have an impact on the world around them. The tree big enough for birds to find shelter in its branches.
I walk every day along a path with some of the greatest trees. They are huge. And as I was walking the other day I was stopped dead in my tracks by the thought that there was a time that these trees were nothing more than a tiny seed falling into good soil.
This tree, in particular, is right at the beginning of my walking route. It is a beautiful tree, and there is no arguing that it is a majestic specimen. But even this was once only a tiny seed. It took good conditions, and a whole lot of time. And now the birds can find shelter in its branches.
I think we sometimes find ourselves frustrated with time it takes for the growth to happen. I think sometimes we miss the mustard seed all together – not noticing that it has been planted, not sensing the growth process as it begins beneath the surface.
I think I have been in that kind of season recently. But tonight I have hope. Tonight, I think I have begun to glimpse the first hints of green shoots poking through the dark soil.
If you could spare a prayer for me, for the community of faith where I serve as Associate Minister, for the future of the Kingdom and for humble beginnings that grow into great trees, I would appreciate it.