Wednesday, February 24th Luke 13:18-21

He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.” And again he said, “To what should I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.” Luke 13:18-21

I can’t read these parables without seeing two images. One is walking through Denny Brewer’s cornfields, cutting off mustard plants close to the ground and carrying them to a big pile at the end of the field. Those mustard plants were big old useless weeds and he didn’t have any other way to get rid of them once the corn got to a certain height. I made a few dollars a day doing that but felt like a real farmer.

And the other is my dad telling me about how his mother baked bread every day. A farm wife, also a teacher in the local country school, she had a husband, a daughter, three strapping sons, and sometimes some extra hired hands to feed. Each and every day. And every day, she baked bread.

Mustard seeds and yeast are both small. Tiny. Obscure. That’s the surprise in the parables. For those tiny seeds produce big results. And so it is, the little movements, the whispers and twists, of the Kingdom of God often go unnoticed (always go unnoticed?) but something much bigger is at play. Like yesterday, we do well to see the bigger picture.

Take just a quiet moment now to think back across your life.

Notice the faces of the people who drift in and out, those people who made indelible marks upon your life. Consider the brief comments, the words here and there, that you can’t forget because they have become your purpose for being. So it is that the hand of God, the movement of the Kingdom, has come to you.

Still in that quiet moment, think about the day that stretches before you. How many moments will matter? Even carefully changing lanes with your blinker on in your daily commute does your part to ensure that those other drivers will also return home safely at the end of the day. The conversations you will have, the words you will hear and the wordless signs you can only see – the Spirit will attune your hearing so that you can be helpful to another. The quiet movements of the Kingdom.

And when you get discouraged and disconnected and wonder why you do what you do…remember those tiny seeds of God’s grace that have been planted deeply in you, and the firm reality of your ability and calling to plant such seeds in others.

So quiet. So tiny. So obscure. I’ll pick a date out of nowhere now – let’s say February 24th, 1951 – and I know right now that my grandma took out yeast the night before, she got up earlier than anyone else, to bake the bread for the day, raising the scent that woke up a household of hard working people on the North Dakota prairie – and here is her grandson, 59 years later, retelling her story, but recognizing in it God’s blessings of daily bread being poured out. God’s work. Her hands. The quiet movement of the Kingdom.

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, we thank you for the tiny seeds of faith which have been and continue to be planted in our lives. We thank you for the people and the moments that have shaped us. May your Spirit flood us with encouragement to trust you and to do our part as we patiently live our lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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15 Responses to “Wednesday, February 24th Luke 13:18-21”

  1. C Harris Says:

    Wonderful—thank you!

  2. Georgene Thompson Says:

    You sow seeds every day. You think you don’t have a parish, but you do. It is just not bound by the walls of a building, or by a city, or a state. Your parish comes together daily through these devotions.

  3. Valerie Webdll Says:

    Thank you for this devotion. I am today beginning my first seminar in Deaconess formation, and today’s devotion locked everything in place for me.

  4. Roy Nell Norby Says:

    I am so glad you are back.

  5. Rich Overcash Says:

    Kerry, I missed your daily devotions. As a pastor in a parish, I look forward to waking up to the aroma of this daily nourishment. I am glad you are cooking again! Thanks!

  6. Nan Marcum Says:

    I am soooooooo glad you are back – I missed my morning read!

  7. Millie Says:

    Right on, Georgene. And I am one of your parishioners, Pastor Kerry. Thank you for the seeds you sow.

  8. Carole Smith Says:

    This was beautiful. Thank you.

  9. Chap Holbert Says:

    Thank you for resuming the devotionals. Millie and Georgene are right. A Church is not bricks and morter but each of us are the Church. Each of us have the Holy Spirit in us and share the Grace of Jesus with those we meet each day.

  10. Tracey Says:

    As I am reflecting on life and my service to God’s Kingdom, this devo is a beautiful reminder of how important it is to work with the Holy Spirit to better God’s Kingdom.

    Thank you Pastor Kerry for being a humble servant of God.

  11. Dawn Byrd Says:

    I totally agree! I look forward to your devotion every morning when I come in to work and start up my computer. This morning it was about baking bread and it brought back memories of my grandmother baking bread and buns on her Minnesota farm. The sound of the sheets snapping in the wind while the birds were chirping along to the beat. I really appreciate the fact that you could make me think back to that peaceful (peacefilled) time in my life. Oh, if we could only turn back the clock!
    Kerry, keep up the planting and sowing!

  12. Jan Killian Says:

    59? Don’t you mean 49? Are u 59?

  13. Gloria Smith-Rockhold Says:

    Thank you for the reminder that God’s work is done in the small things we do every day. What we do may not be flashy and headline-grabbing, but His work is done through all of us, His people. Tiny seeds – big results! That is the way to get God’s work done.

  14. Les Prebilsky Says:

    Thank you, Pastor Kerry. As I get wrapped up fretting about minor dissatisfactions in my life, you remind me what is important. “The quiet movement of the Kingdom”. Tiny ripples that can spread far and wide.

  15. Sue Anderson Says:

    “Every day we are called to do small things with great love.” Mother Theresa

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