Wednesday, February 8th. Mark 4:30-32

30 He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”  Mark 4:30-32


Once again, the parable hits our imaginations and we follow it where it goes. 


I first learned the “Mustard Seed” around a campfire at a Bible camp.  There was something about the idea of something so little becoming something more substantial that caught my imagination. “It will grow, and grow and grow and grow.  Plant a mustard seed of faith and it will grow…”


Back in 1973 a British economist named E.F. Shumacher wrote “Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered”.  It was that little book that forever planted the idea of “enoughness” in my mind as an attainable Christian goal for every human being.  It brought clarity to the prayer “give us this day our daily bread”.


Even further back in the day, Brylcreem told us that a “little dab’l do ya”.


This simple concept – the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed – is full of hope.  Especially for us in a world dominated by “bigger is better”.


When we don’t see immediate results of our labors, we can take courage from the reminder that our time might not be God’s time and we can be reminded of the many ways that little seeds have been planted in our own lives that didn’t bear fruit for a long long time.


If we work for a large corporation, we can remember that our little personal contribution still matters to the whole.  A small business person, a family farmer or a teacher in a classroom can realize anew that their daily work still keeps whole the fabric of life.


Pastors and people in smaller congregations are constantly hearing about Saint Joel of Osteen and the millions who flock to his every word.  “Why can’t we do that, Pastor?” 


So yes, we take heart at the reminder of the mustard seed.


But we cannot miss the reality that the reason the mustard seed is so compelling is that it grows.  It grows and grows and grows.  The parable loses its power if Jesus lets the mustard seed rot in the ground as the smallest of all the seeds.


Seeds are meant to be planted. They are designed to grow.  Yes, smallness can be beautiful and a little dab’l do ya but such insight ought not dampen the fire in our belly to plant one more seed, touch one more life, speak good news into one more dark corner.  After all, the mustard seed only reaches its destiny as it provides a home to the birds of the air.


Let us pray:  Dear Lord, encourage us today with this reminder that your way of being in the world might appear small and insignificant.  Encourage us to trust the seeds of faith you have planted in our lives.  Use us to plant seeds of faith in others.  And remind us that you are up to so much more than we can see or imagine in blessing the world with your love.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


3 Responses to “Wednesday, February 8th. Mark 4:30-32”

  1. Sandy Says:

    Enjoyed your message today. Wish I could articulate , but want you to know that I really appreciate your thoughts and sharing and integrating the Bible into our daily lives. It is a good feeling to be at peace with one’s self, to know that people want to be the best they can be and everyone has something to offer to others. People will flock together who have this oneness in Spirit. However, not everyone wants to be in a stadium to do so. So just “keep on, keepin’ on!!” (AKA JO.)

  2. Billie Faye Garcia Says:

    We need to be careful how we speak of God’s other workers. If we are His, we are brothers and sisters and shouldn’t judge our fellow laborers no matter how big their pulpit is. This is something I need to remember too!!

  3. Richard Says:

    Now that is funny, Pastor…..St. Joel of Osteen………

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