Wednesday, July 15, 2020
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” [Matthew 13:31-33]
“The kingdom of heaven is like…” What metaphor would you use? You can’t use the smallest of seeds or yeast! What we know about metaphors is that they attempt to describe something indescribable, for metaphors can never fully capture what they are trying to describe. What we do know from the various metaphors we find in scripture is that the kingdom of heaven is not static. It is a place where something small is able to become something more that blesses others abundantly. A small seed that is planted in soil and receives nutrients, water and sunlight grows into a great shrub that provides for the birds of the air. A pinch of yeast that is mixed with flour and then baked makes delicious bread that will feed many. Notice that in both cases something that seemed insignificant is transformed into something that blesses others. The tiniest seed of faith within us is meant to do the same. Our faith is not meant to be static. Our faith is to be planted in the soil of community or mixed with the flour of others. Notice the “dirt” and “heat” involved in the process of our becoming a blessing to others. Or as Eugene Peterson reminds us, “No life of faith can be lived privately, there must be overflow into the lives others.” The kingdom of heaven is visible on earth when the gift of faith within us blesses others. May it be so.
Loving God, thank you for the seed of faith you have planted me. Nurture my faith by the power of your Spirit at work within me. Give me the courage to step out in faith in small and large ways, trusting that you can use even me to bless others. Remind me that all things are possible with you, O God. Amen.