June 13

Mark 4:30-33

“It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth;” vs. 31

Preachers have generally liked Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed. It’s relatively short and seemingly easy to understand–and it provides an opportunity for dragging out a seed or two and talking about how they grow. But still there are questions. Is Jesus talking about the Church? It’s unlikely since there was no Church when he told the story–and he says that it’s about the Kingdom of God. Jesus talked a lot about the Kingdom of God–he said that it was at hand and that people should get ready for it by repenting. Maybe this parable was directed at those who were wondering when they were going to see the Kingdom, and he was telling them to be patient, that like a mustard seed it would grow. If that’s what he had in mind, it’s a reminder to us that the heaven on earth we yearn for is present, but it’s really hard to see. But it is going to grow! That interpretation does fit our experience–while we believe that Christ rules, signs of that rule are for the most part nearly invisible. But they are there, and to eyes of faith there are daily sightings. We’ll see an unexpected smile and get a surprise hug. Out of the blue there comes a word of affirmation or we see an act of sacrificial love. As Jesus says, the seed has been planted–no surprise then when we see it begin to grow!

Thought for the Day: What is heaven on earth like?

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