He put before them another parable: ‘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 13:31-32

By Susan Jordan

Have you ever thought how the Bible is full of seemingly insignificant images which hold huge meanings – a baby in a basket in a river; a shepherd boy with a sling shot; an infant in an animal feeding trough; a few loaves and fishes? 

The image of a tiny mustard seed is one that Jesus uses again in Matthew 17:20 when he talks about faith.  Seemingly insignificant, that tiny seed could grow into a familiar sight in Palestine – a 6-12 foot bush filled with a flock of birds feasting on the tiny black seeds or taking cover from a larger bird of prey.  This fast-growing plant also had medicinal uses as well as culinary ones. Jesus teaches that a tiny seed, with faith and through the Holy Spirit, produces a multitude of blessings.

Our church is full of these tiny beginnings which take many forms and bring enormous blessings.  A prayer brings healing, a new job, a restored spirit.  An idea brings a mission trip, a meal ministry, a morning Bible study.  A scripture brings an inspiring sermon, a creative Sunday school lesson or children’s moment, a thoughtful discussion.  Notes on a page become a song sung by a choir or rung by the bells; a skein of yarn becomes a prayer shawl; miscellaneous food items become a shared potluck, a funeral meal, The Turkey Dinner! The examples are endless and the Holy Spirit moves through them all.

Reflect on a tiny beginning in your life in which faith and the Holy Spirit resulted in a blessing or blessings for you.  Hopefully, there are many.  Consider, too, how you with your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, your witness have been a blessing to others.  Offer the prayer, share the idea, study the scripture, give of your talents and gifts generously no matter what form they may take.

 Our church family is blessed with ‘mustard seeds’.  Sow them freely, always planting with faith and the Holy Spirit; give thanks for them, and watch them grow.