Mark 4 26 – 34
Then Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows – he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time!
“How can we picture God’s kingdom? What kind of story can we use? It’s like a pine nut. When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go, yet once it is planted it grows into a huge pine tree with thick branches. Eagles nest in it.”
With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting the stories to their experience and maturity. He was never without a story when he spoke. When he was alone with his disciples, he went over everything, sorting out the tangles, untying the knots.
Interestingly, mustard seeds are generally planted as an annual harvest. Jesus’ expectation that his ‘seedlings’ would be enough to thwart the traditions that had held so many captive. And that, like seedlings, it is the striving for light, for life, for transformation, that should sustain them allowing them to grow into something more.
If you have ever seen seedlings of any kind, you cannot fail to be amazed by their tenacity; finding purchase in concrete, through tarmac, surrounded by brambles or edging out of the cracks of mortared brickwork. Beholden to no-one, except their Maker, they reach out to every drop of morning dew or misted rain; they suck the nutrients from the scarified dust and tie their roots into the barest of hopes.
And they persevere. Their life wrapped in God’s desire; a thread in the weave. Each one of us is a part of the pattern. Despite, in spite of, the trials and the temptations that surround us we are reminded that it is not about just us, but about the ‘bigness’ of being part of something more. Something that will be a home and refuge for those in need.